CFS study finds satisfactory microbiological quality in non-hot served chicken dishes

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20th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today, the results of a risk assessment study on the microbiological quality of non-hot served dishes containing chicken meat. The study revealed that all samples collected from takeaway shops, stalls, and restaurants were compliant with the CFS’s microbiological food safety criteria for pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus. Overall, the study concluded that the microbiological quality of these chicken dishes was satisfactory.

Explaining the significance of the study, a CFS spokesman highlighted the prevalence of chicken meat in local non-hot served ready-to-eat dishes and the surge in establishments offering takeaway shredded chicken and chopped chicken in recent years. The preparation process for these non-hot served dishes poses potential microbiological risks due to factors such as insufficient cooking and manual handling. Additionally, cooling is typically required before serving, and improper temperature control during storage can promote the growth of pathogens. Consequently, the CFS conducted this study, collecting 100 samples of non-hot served chicken meat dishes from various food outlets. The microbiological quality of these samples was evaluated based on the criteria outlined in the Microbiological Guidelines for Food.

The study’s findings indicated that the overall microbiological quality of non-hot served dishes with chicken meat was satisfactory, with all samples meeting the microbiological food safety criteria for pathogenic bacteria. While no unsatisfactory samples were discovered, certain food preparation processes necessitated food handlers’ heightened awareness of food safety control. During visits to some establishments selling these products, the need for improved practices was identified.

The CFS spokesman emphasized the importance of adhering to Good Hygiene Practices within the food trade to prevent food contamination. Furthermore, food businesses bear the responsibility of providing continuous and adequate food safety and hygiene training to their staff.