​CFS follows up on incident of romaine lettuce produced in Salinas, California, US, suspected to be contaminated with E. coli

26 November 2019
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The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (November 26) said that the CFS has been closely following up on the incident of romaine lettuce produced in Salinas, California, the US, suspected to be contaminated with Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 and had earlier suspended the import into and sale within Hong Kong of the romaine lettuce produced in the area concerned, and instructed the importer concerned to stop sale and recall the affected products. The CFS' further investigations found that some other kinds of the affected products were sold by the importer concerned and one more importer was found to have imported affected products. The CFS urged members of the public not to consume the affected products. The trade should also stop using or selling the products concerned immediately if they possess them.

A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS has earlier instructed the importer concerned, Wing Kee Produce Ltd, to stop sale and recall a kind of the affected product. The CFS' follow-up investigations found that the importer had also sold several other kinds of the affected products produced in the area concerned. In addition, the Centre found that another importer, City Super Limited, had also imported several kinds of the affected products." 

Product details are as follows:

(1) Product name: Romaine Heart
Brand: Earthbound
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 750 grams per pack
Importer: Wing Kee Produce Ltd

(2) Product name: Chopped Caesar Salad Kit
Brand: Earthbound
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 8.5 ounces per pack
Importer: Wing Kee Produce Ltd

(3) Product name: Asian Style Chopped Salad Kit
Brand: Earthbound
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 8.5 oz per pack
Importer: Wing Kee Produce Ltd

(4) Product name: Southwest Chopped Salad Kit
Brand: Earthbound
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 8.5 oz per pack
Importer: Wing Kee Produce Ltd

(5) Product name: Classic Caesar Salad
Brand: Ready pac
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 9.5 oz per pack
Importer: Wing Kee Produce Ltd

(6) Product name: salad italiano
Brand: Ready pac
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 9.5 oz per pack
Importer: Wing Kee Produce Ltd

(7) Product name: KALE CAESAR PREMIUM SALAD KIT
Brand: josie's organics
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 262g per pack
Importer: City Super Limited

(8) Product name: MEDITERRANEAN CRUNCH CHOPPED SALAD KIT
Brand: josie's organics
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 326g per pack
Importer: City Super Limited

(9) Product name: SOUTHWEST CHOPPED SALAD KIT
Brand: josie's organics
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 326g per pack
Importer: City Super Limited

(10) Product name: SRIRACHA CHOPPED SALAD KIT
Brand: josie's organics
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 326g per pack
Importer: City Super Limited

(11) Product name: Romaine Hearts
Brand: FOXY
Place of origin: Salinas, California, the US
Net weight: 340g per pack
Importer: City Super Limited

The spokesman said that the above-mentioned importers concerned had removed from shelves and stopped sale of the affected products, and initiated a recall according to the CFS' instructions. Members of the public may call the hotline of Wing Kee Produce Ltd at 2796 3111 and the hotline of City Super Limited at 2736 3866 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

The spokesman said that the CFS has enhanced surveillance of romaine lettuce produced in the US at import and retail levels.

People will contract E. coli causing gastro-intestinal disease through consumption of contaminated water or undercooked and contaminated foods. Intestinal bleeding and serious complications such as haemolytic uraemic syndrome may also develop in some people. Moreover, due to poor personal hygiene, person-to-person transmission of this pathogen is possible through the oral-faecal route. E. coli cannot survive under high temperature and can be killed by thorough cooking.

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

Reposted from HKSAR Government webpage:
https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201911/26/P2019112600696.htm