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CFS urges public not to consume a batch of prepackaged frozen suckling pig ham suspected to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

  • 2023.03.28

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (March 28) urged the public not to consume a batch of prepackaged frozen suckling pig ham due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen. The trade should stop using or selling the affected batch of the product immediately if they possess it.


Product details are as follows:


Product name: German Suckling Pig Cured Ham Cooked (Sliced)
Brand: BECK
Place of origin: Germany
Packer: Galleon International Limited
Net weight: 180 grams
Best-before date: May 1, 2024


A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS collected the above-mentioned prepackaged frozen suckling pig ham sample from a retail outlet in Jordan for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained Listeria monocytogenes at a level of 120 per gram. According to the Microbiological Guidelines for Food, if relevant ready-to-eat food contains Listeria monocytogenes at a level of more than 100 per gram, it is considered unsatisfactory."


The spokesman said that the CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the test result and visited the concerned food factory immediately for investigation, and has instructed them to stop sale and to remove from shelves the affected batch of the product. According to the CFS's instructions, the packer concerned has initiated a recall of the affected batch of the product. Members of the public may call its hotline at 3643 0174 during office hours for enquiries about the product recall. For the sake of prudence, the CFS has also instructed the packer to suspend the ready-to-eat food production line to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection. The CFS also collected food and environmental samples for testing, and gave health advice to the operators and staff of the food factory concerned.


"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," the spokesman said.


"In order to reduce the risk of listeriosis, susceptible populations such as pregnant women should consume freshly prepared hot food where possible, reheat chilled food until it is hot all the way through, and avoid high-risk foods, including ready-to-eat food such as cold cuts, cold smoked seafood, soft cheeses and salads, etc, or cook them thoroughly before consumption, even if they are presented as part of a dish."


The spokesman urged consumers not to consume the affected product if they have bought any. The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately if they possess it.


The CFS will alert the trade to the incident, and will continue to follow up and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.


Reposted from HKSAR Government webpage: