Food poisoning cases lead to ban on Loch Fyne oysters in Hong Kong

Published on
February 3, 2017

Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety (CFS), part of the country’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, has announced an import ban of raw oysters from Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd. of Scotland.

The ban was put into place on 25 January and local distributors have been asked to stop using or selling the product due to the potential presence of pathogens, including norovirus, which can cause stomach upset in humans.

"The CFS was notified by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health of a number of food poisoning cases which involved consumption of raw oysters at a restaurant in Causeway Bay. The CFS conducted investigations at the restaurant concerned which claimed that it had sold raw oysters produced in Scotland supplied by a local supplier. Follow-up investigations found that the restaurant and the supplier concerned did not have any remaining stock of the affected raw oysters,” the CFS said in a statement. “According to the information provided by the supplier concerned, the affected raw oysters came from Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd of Scotland. For the sake of prudence, the CFS has immediately banned the import into and sale within Hong Kong of all raw oysters produced by the company."

Earlier in January, the CFS also barred raw oysters producers in Ireland and France. On 13 January, it banned imports from Dungarvan Shellfish Ltd., as well as any oysters harvested in Dungarvan Bay in Ireland., and on 10 January, the CFS banned raw oyster imports from Etang de Thau, France.

The CFS has informed the authorities from all three European countries of the respective import bans and has said it will continue to follow up on the incidents in order to “take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health.”

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