A matcha-flavored ice popsicle sample was found to contain a coliform count exceeding the legal limit, Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety said on Wednesday.
The sample, collected from the Stickhouse Workshop, a frozen confection factory located on the 11th floor of Luk Hop Industrial Building in San Po Kong in Kowloon, contained a coliform count of 260 per gram, exceeding the 100 per gram legal limit, a center spokesman said, citing a test result from its regular food monitoring program.
Coliform is a bacteria that indicates the presence of fecal matter because it is always present in the digestive tracts of animals and humans.
The fact that the coliform count exceeded the legal limit indicated that hygienic conditions at the factory were unsatisfactory, but did not mean food poisoning would occur if the contaminated food was consumed, the spokesman said.
The center, under the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, has informed the factory of the test results and ordered it to cease supplies and sales of that product.
The maximum penalty for offenders of the Frozen Confections Regulation is a HK$10,000 (US$1,281) fine and a three-month jail term.