Blame the consumer, Hong Kong style

Public reminded to prevent E. coli O157:H7 infection.

That was the headline on a press release from Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection today.

Consumers are important. So is everyone else in the farm-to-fork food safety system. But CHP chooses to focus on people as the critical control point:

CHP today (July 20) reminded people to observe good personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent intestinal infection caused by E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

The appeal followed the confirmation by laboratory test of a local case involving a 13-month-old girl living in Yuen Long. This is the fourth case of E. coli O157:H7 infection reported to the CHP this year.

A CHP spokesman said,

"People are advised to cook meat thoroughly. The core temperature of food should reach 75 degrees Celsius (that’s 167 F, guess they like hockey pucks for burgers) for at least two to three minutes, until the cooked meat is brown throughout and the juices run clear.”

Color is a lousy indicator. Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer and stick it in. And next time, remind everyone else of their responsibility to reduce the loads of dangerous pathogens entering any kitchen rather than placing all the blame on consumers. There’s lots of blame to go around.

This entry was posted in E. coli and tagged , , , by Douglas Powell. Bookmark the permalink.

About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time