Hong Kong – Packed milk drink sample found to contain excessive Bacillus cereus

CFS bacillus

Issue Date 4.9.2018
Source of Information Centre for Food Safety
Food Product Kowloon Dairy Hi-Calcium Skimmed milk drink
Product Name and Description Product name: Kowloon Dairy Hi-Calcium Skimmed milk drink

Manufacturer: The Kowloon Dairy Ltd

Volume: 236 millilitres per pack

Use-by date: August 23, 2018

Reason For Issuing Alert
  • Following up on a food complaint, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) collected the concerned sample from a supermarket in Sha Tin for testing. The test result showed that the sample contained Bacillus cereus at a level of 3.8 million per gram. Under the Microbiological Guidelines for Food, if ready-to-eat food contains Bacillus cereus at a level of more than 100 000 per gram, it is considered unsatisfactory.
Action Taken by the Centre for Food Safety
  • The CFS had informed the manufacturer and the vendor concerned of the test result. Investigation was conducted at the production plant and the supermarket concerned and follow-up samples were collected for further testing. Investigation is ongoing.
  • The CFS has also provided health education on food safety and hygiene for the staff of the production plant and the supermarket and requested them to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection.
  • The CFS will alert the trade, continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action in order to safeguard public health and food safety.
Advice to the Trade
  • According to Section 54 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), all food available for sale in Hong Kong, locally produced or imported, should be fit for human consumption. An offender is subject to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction.
Advice to Consumers
  • Bacillus cereus is commonly found in the environment. Unhygienic conditions in food processing and storage may give rise to its growth. Consuming food contaminated with excessive Bacillus cereus may cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhoea.
Further Information The CFS press release

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