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August 31, 2012

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Mister Donut, Baskin Robbins join list of bacteria-tainted ice creams

MISTER Donut, an American donut chain, and Baskin Robbins, a popular international chain of ice cream parlors, said yesterday that they have taken some of their ice-cream products off the shelves after a quality inspection found excessive levels of bacteria in them.

Three other blacklisted companies, Dairy Queen, Donut King and Cold Stone, however, said their products were safe.

Mister Donut Shanghai Co Ltd said it has suspended sales of its vanilla flavor ice cream after receiving the test results from Shanghai's consumer protection commission.

"Mister Donut has double checked the cleaning and disinfection process of its stores and will not resell the ice cream until the company can make sure there is no problem in the operation process," it said in a statement.

The donut chain has more than 20 stores in the city.

Baskin Robbins has taken the cheese-taste ice cream off the shelves and enhanced its sterilization process after the check, Shanghai Songqing Catering Management Co Ltd, which operates Baskin Robbins stores in the city, said in a statement yesterday.

The company has taken measures such as disinfecting kitchenware (knives, cups and stainless steel scoops) more frequently to reduce the possibility of bacterial infection.

DQ, Donut King and Cold Stone said their ice-cream products had passed third-party tests on many occasions, with test reports attached to their statements yesterday.

Shanghai Cold Stone Co Ltd said its original flavor ice cream, which was listed as substandard by the commission, passed an inspection by a third party but has still asked its stores to oversee the temperature of ice cream more strictly and step up disinfection.

DQ and Donut King made similar announcements.

Ice creams of these popular brands were found to contain excessive bacteria, some at an alarming level, the consumer protection commission said on Wednesday. The amount of bacterial colonies found in Cold Stone's original flavor ice cream reached 32,000 CFU (colony-forming units) per milliliter, compared with the national limit of 25,000 per ml, the commission said.

"It is so frightening to learn that these popular brands are not hygienic. I may have to quit eating ice cream for some time," said Una Yu, who works at the Expo Museum and has often bought ice creams from these brand outlets.


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