Updates on CFS' follow up on Australian rockmelons suspected to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said today (March 8) that the Centre has continued to closely follow up on the incident that rockmelons produced in New South Wales, Australia might have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and received the latest notification from the Food Standards Australia New Zealand that five more local importers were found to have imported the affected rockmelons into Hong Kong in January and February this year. The trade should stop using or selling the affected product immediately should they still possess it.
     "The Centre has been maintaining close contact with the Australian authorities. According to the latest information provided by the authorities concerned, five more local importers, including Luen Woo Loong Limited, Calfruits Company Limited, Wellcome Company Limited, Sun Lee Laan Wholesale Food Limited and Good View Fruits Company Limited, have imported the affected product into Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CFS said.
     The CFS immediately contacted the five importers for follow up and all of them confirmed that they had imported the affected product which was already sold out.

The importers have initiated a recall according to the CFS' advice. Members of the public may call the hotlines of the importers concerned: Luen Woo Loong Limited at 2810 1795; Calfruits Company Limited at 2368 3668/2620 8919; Wellcome Company Limited at 2299 1133; Sun Lee Laan Wholesale Food Limited at 6636 8014, and Good View Fruits Company Limited at 2884 3893, during office hours for enquiries. The CFS' follow-up on the case continues.
     "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 septicemia, 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.
     The Centre also advised consumers to wash and scrub the surface of the whole rockmelon with a clean produce brush under clean running water before cutting it for consumption.

The Centre has not received any reports about listeriosis caused by consumption of rockmelons in the past two months.

     The CFS will continue to closely monitor the case and take appropriate follow-up action. Investigation is ongoing.

Published on: 2018-03-08

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