NZ ice cream pulled from shelves

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 11.25.42 amHong Kong food safety regulators have found a sample of New Zealand Natural ice cream imported from NZ and a local yogurt sample to contain a coliform count exceeding the legal limit.

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygience Department tested samples collected of NZ Natural brand’s Chocolate Ecstasy Ice Cream from an importer for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. Test results showed that a sample contained a coliform count of 360 per gram, exceeding the legal limit.

The affected batch of product carried the best before date of March 11, 2018 with a weight of 125ml per piece.

A spokesman for the CFS urged members of the public not to consume the affected batch of product. The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately.

Under the Frozen Conections Regulatio, each gram of frozen confection for sale should not contain more than 100 coliform organisms.

The maximum penalty for offenders is a fine of $10,000 and three months’ imprisonment upon conviction. The fact that the coliform count exceeded the legal limit indicated that the hygienic conditions were unsatisfactory, but did not mean that consumption would lead to food poisoning.

“The CFS has informed the importer of the irregularity and has suspended the import of the product in question. Prosecution will also be considered.

“According to the information provided by the importer, 25 cartons of the affected batch of product have been sold and there are currently 34 cartons in stock. The CFS has marked and sealed all the remaining stocks from the importer and is tracing the distribution of the product concerned. The CFS has also ordered the importer to stop selling and recall the affected batch of product. Other batches of the same product available in the market will not be affected,” the spokesman said.

The CFS will alert the local trade and the NZ authorities for follow up.

Meanwhile, the CFS also discovered that a local yogurt sample, made upon order, was found to contain a coliform count exceeding the legal limit.

“Following up on a food complaint, the CFS took yogurt samples from a retail stall named Fairykiss at the basement floor, 655 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong for testing. Results showed that a sample in original flavour contained a coliform count at a level of 630 per gram, exceeding the legal limit,” the spokesman said.

“The CFS will inform the vendor concerned of the irregularity and instruct it to stop selling the affected yogurt immediately. The Centre will also provide health education on food safety and hygiene for the person in charge and staff of the stall concerned, and request the vendor to carry out thorough cleansing and disinfection.”

He urged members of the public to seek medical advice if they feel sick upon consumption of the product concerned.

The CFS will follow up the case closely and take appropriate actions including stepping up inspection to the stall concerned to safeguard food safety and public health.

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