CFS follows up on Holle organic infant formula 1 with possible Enterobacter sakazakii contamination

17 May 2016
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The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department noted today (May 17) that in view of media reports on the detection of Enterobacter sakazakii in Holle Bio-Anfangsmilch (Organic Infant Formula) 1 by the Heilongjiang Food and Drug Administration, the CFS has followed up on the matter and its initial investigation found that the affected product had not been imported into or put on sale in Hong Kong.

According to the announcement of the Heilongjiang Food and Drug Administration, the product details are as follows:

Product name: Holle Bio-Anfangsmilch (Organic Infant Formula) 1
Place of origin: Austria
Mainland distributor: Wuhan Mston Trade Development Co. Ltd.
Packing: 500 grams per pack
Production date: August 11, 2014

A spokesman for the CFS said, "Upon learning the incident, the CFS has followed up with the sole importer of the product concerned in Hong Kong. The importer confirmed that the aforesaid infant formula in 500g packing had not been imported into Hong Kong. According to the information provided by the importer, only the product in 400g packing has been imported and sold in Hong Kong. The two products with different packaging were produced in different countries."

Furthermore, the CFS has contacted the major local retailers and conducted sales checks at local outlets. No affected product was found available for sale in Hong Kong so far.

The CFS has collected a total of 267 samples of infant milk powder for testing of Enterobacter sakazakii in the past three years under its routine food surveillance programme. The results were all satisfactory.

Enterobacter sakazakii can be found in the environment, but it generally causes disease only in people with weakened immune systems. Enterobacter sakazakii can cause invasive infection such as blood stream infection or meningitis. Neonates (28 days old or below) and infants less than two months of age, in particular pre-term infants, low-birth-weight infants (less than 2.5 kilograms) and infants with weakened immunity, are at greater risk. For high-risk infants who cannot be breastfed, caregivers are encouraged to use, whenever possible and feasible, commercially sterile liquid formula.

"According to the recommendation by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization, reconstitution of powdered infant formula with water that is no less than 70 degrees Celsius can significantly inactivate Enterobacter sakazakii. Parents should then cool it down to a suitable temperature to feed the infant. Reconstituted milk should be consumed within two hours," the spokesman said.

The CFS has contacted the Mainland authorities concerned for more information and will continue to follow-up on the incident and take appropriate actions. Investigation is ongoing.

Reprinted from HKSAR Government: