A 79-year-old female patient at St. Teresa’s Hospital has been confirmed to be suffering from listeriosis, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health said.
Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
The CHP’s epidemiological investigations revealed that the patient had consumed high-risk foods including sandwiches with smoked salmon provided by the kitchen of the private hospital in late December, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The patient has been confined at the hospital since Sept. 12 last year for several chronic diseases. She developed fever and her body conditions deteriorated since Jan. 1.
While a sample of smoked salmon collected from the hospital kitchen tested negative for Listeria monocytogenes, the patient’s blood culture yielded the bacteria.
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department subsequently collected five smoked salmon samples and 19 environmental samples from the factory of Elegant Fine Food Limited, the food supplier, on Shipyard Lane in Quarry Bay.
Four of the samples tested positive for Listeria monocytogene, while all environmental samples were negative.
The CFS has ordered the food supplier to immediately recall all of its smoked salmon products while all of its existing stocks were confiscated. Its production lines have been suspended for sterilization.
A CFS spokesperson said investigations are ongoing.
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