CFS follows up on smoked salmon sample with dill possibly contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

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5th July 2022 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) said today that it continues to actively follow up on smoked salmon products produced in Hong Kong possibly contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen.

The spokesman said, “The CFS earlier collected a smoked salmon sample distributed by Polyfood Food Service Co. Ltd for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in 25 grams of the sample, exceeding the standard of the Microbiological Guidelines for Food which states that Listeria monocytogenes should not be detected in 25g of food.”

 Upon receiving the test result on 30th June, the CFS immediately visited the food factory concerned for investigation, collected food and environmental samples for testing, instructed the manufacturer to recall the affected products, and gave health advice to the operators and staff of the food factory concerned. The CFS also issued a press release to remind the trade and the public on the same day. The relevant production line of the factory has been suspended since 30th June evening, while a thorough cleansing and disinfection of the factory has been conducted.

The CFS has been actively following up on the case. The distributor, in accordance with the CFS’s instruction, has stopped the sale and removed from shelves the affected products, and has mounted a recall of all brands and packing sizes (namely 100g and 500g) of the affected batches of smoked salmon products with dill.

 Members of the public are urged not to consume the products concerned. The trade should also stop using or selling all affected products immediately. For enquiries about the recall, members of the public may call the hotlines at 2898 9962 or 6366 0067 during office hours. Members of the public may contact the sellers of the concerned products to enquire if they are not sure whether the products possessed by them are affected. If in doubt, consumers should stop consumption.

The CFS today inspected the factory again after its completion of a thorough cleansing and disinfection, and collected environmental samples for testing. The CFS has also inspected local retail outlets, and no affected products have been found available for sale so far.

 “Listeria monocytogenes can be easily destroyed by cooking but can survive and multiply at refrigerator temperatures. Most healthy individuals do not develop symptoms or only have mild symptoms like fever, muscle pain, headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea when infected. However, severe complications such as septicaemia, meningitis or even death may occur in newborns, the elderly and those with a weaker immune system. Although infected pregnant women may just experience mild symptoms generally, the infection of Listeria monocytogenes may cause miscarriage, infant death, preterm birth, or severe infection in newborns,” the spokesman said.

 The CFS will alert the trade to the incident, and will continue to follow up and take appropriate action. An investigation is ongoing.

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