Hong Kong – A batch of Australian rockmelons suspected to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

CFS catalopue

Issue Date 6.3.2018
Source of Information Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
Food Product A batch of rockmelons produced in New South Wales, Australia
Product Name and Description A batch of rockmelons produced in New South Wales, Australia imported by local importers, Wing Kee Produce Limited, ETAK International Ltd., Wing Hong Woo and Ming Kee Chan Co., Ltd., between 1 January and 28 February, 2018
Reason For Issuing Alert
  • The Centre for Food Safety (CFS), through its Food Incident Surveillance System, noted a notice issued by FSANZ that a batch of rockmelons produced in New South Wales, Australia might have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and are being recalled.
  • According to the information provided by the Australian authorities, four local importers have imported the affected product into Hong Kong.
  • The four importers confirmed that the affected product was already sold out. They have initiated a recall according to the CFS’ advice.
  • Listeria monocytogenes can be easily destroyed by cooking but can survive and multiply at refrigerator temperature. 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.
Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety
  • The CFS contacted FSANZ for follow up. According to the information provided by the Australian authorities, four local importers have imported the affected product into Hong Kong.
  • The CFS contacted the four importers and all of them confirmed that they had imported the affected product which was already sold out. The importers have initiated a recall according to the CFS’ advice.
  • The CFS has not received any reports about listeriosis caused by consumption of rockmelons in the past two months.
  • The CFS’ follow-up on the case continues.  The CFS will continue to closely monitor the case and take appropriate follow-up action. Investigation is ongoing.
Advice to the Trade
  • Stop using or selling the affected product immediately if possessing it.
Advice to Consumers
  • Wash and scrub the surface of the whole rockmelon with a clean produce brush under clean running water before cutting it for consumption.
  • For enquiries, call the hotlines of the importers concerned during office hours:
    • Wing Kee Produce Limited at 2796 3111;
    • ETAK International Ltd. at 2487 3800;
    • Wing Hong Woo at 2376 2484; and
    • Ming Kee Chan Co., Ltd. at 2517 2686.
Further Information The CFS press release

 

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