Ice cream samples fail safety inspection

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 July, 2009, 12:00am

Two of 450 samples of ice cream and frozen confection were found to contain excessive coliform and other bacteria, the Centre for Food Safety announced yesterday.

Both samples came from Pappagallo, a chain with nine outlets, in tests during May and June.

A scoop of 'cherry ladies' flavour ice cream from the chain's Windsor House branch in Causeway Bay contained 330 units of coliform organisms per gram of ice cream.

A scoop of 'berries angel' flavour taken from the Langham Place outlet in Mong Kok contained 780 units of coliform organisms and 100,000 bacterial counts per gram of ice cream.

By law, one gram of ice cream or frozen confection cannot contain more than 50,000 bacterial counts or more than 100 coliform organisms. No pathogens were found in any of the test samples.

The centre sent warning letters to the outlets involved and collected samples for further testing.

A spokeswoman for Pappagallo said the chain had removed affected products from its branches.

'The quality-control department is checking the bacterial counts and number of coliform organisms in the ice creams involved. Tentatively, our data differs with that of the centre. We will wait to confirm our data before announcing it,' she said.

Dr Lo Wing-lok said the results seriously exceeded standards and the ice cream could cause illness.

Coliform bacteria are faecal- organism indicators and total bacterial count is the sum of all contamination in the sample.