Sample of rice vermicelli with roast duck detected with excessive Bacillus cereus


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (July 12) announced that a sample of rice vermicelli with roast duck was found to contain an excessive amount of Bacillus cereus, a pathogen. The CFS is following up on the case.

     "Following up on a food complaint, the CFS collected the above sample from a restaurant in Causeway Bay for testing. The test result showed that the sample contained Bacillus cereus at a level of 230 000 per gram.

Under the Microbiological Guidelines for Food, if ready-to-eat food contains Bacillus cereus at a level of more than 100 000 per gram, it is considered unsatisfactory," a CFS spokesman said.

     The spokesman said that the CFS had informed the restaurant concerned of the unsatisfactory test result and instructed it to suspend the sale of the affected food. The CFS has also provided health education on food safety and hygiene to the person-in-charge and staff of the restaurant, and requested it to review and improve the food production process and carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection.

     According to Section 54 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), all food available for sale in Hong Kong, locally produced or imported, should be fit for human consumption. An offender is subject to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction.

     Bacillus cereus is commonly found in the environment.

Unhygienic conditions in food processing and storage may give rise to its growth. Consuming food contaminated with excessive Bacillus cereus may cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

     The CFS will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health.



Published on: 2018-07-12

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