29th November 2022 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said today that it is actively following up on four food poisoning clusters involving lava cake, including inspecting Paper Moon restaurant, Shop OTE301, Ocean Terminal Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon concerned. A sample of lava cake collected from the restaurant was found to contain a pathogen, Group D Salmonella. The CFS is following up on the case.
“Upon notification by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health earlier, the CFS immediately sent staff to Paper Moon restaurant concerned in Tsim Sha Tsui to conduct investigation and take food and environmental samples for testing. The test result showed the presence of Salmonella in 25 grams of the lava cake sample, exceeding the criterion of the Microbiological Guidelines for Food which states that Salmonella should not be detected in 25g of a ready-to-eat food sample,” a CFS spokesman said.
The CFS has informed the restaurant concerned of the irregularity. The restaurant has already stopped selling and discarded the affected product according to the CFS’s advice. The CFS has also provided health education on food safety and hygiene to the person-in-charge and staff of the restaurant, and requested it to review and improve the food production process and carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence.
According to section 54 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132), all food available for sale in Hong Kong, imported or locally produced, should be fit for human consumption. An offender is subject to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction.
“Salmonella infection may cause fever and gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. The effects on infants, young children, the elderly and persons with a weak immune system could be more severe and may even lead to death,” the spokesman said.
The CFS will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health.
On 24th November 2022, two suspected food poisoning clusters affecting six persons were reported at the same restaurant. The first cluster involved two females, aged 28 and 35, who developed abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea about 22 hours after having dinner. They were suspected to have eaten Molten chocolate cake/lava cake and ice cream at the restaurant. The other cluster involved four females, aged 4 to 32, who developed similar symptoms about 23.5 hours after having dinner at the same restaurant on 21st November.