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August 30, 2012

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Beware the hidden dangers in ice cream

THAT delicious ice cream you are holding could be a health hazard.

Brands including Cold Stone, Dairy Queen, Andersen's of Denmark and Baskin Robbins have been found to contain excessive bacteria, some at an alarming level, Shanghai's consumer protection commission said yesterday.

DQ's Blizzard series was found to contain 4,600 MPN (most probable number) per 100 milliliters of coliform bacteria, 10 times the national limit of 450 MPN per 100 ml.

The ice cream was produced on June 25 at the Xujiahui Road outlet of DQ, the commission said.

Shanghai Shida Catering Management Co Ltd, DQ's largest Chinese partner, said the store closed for a time to do its own checks, but said the commission's results didn't mean DQ products had any quality problems.

"It is the result from only one cup of ice cream sold at only one store of DQ," said Yan Yating with Shida's marketing department.

DQ has more than 90 outlets in Shanghai.

The amount of bacterial colonies found in Cold Stone's original flavor ice cream reached 32,000 CFU (colony-forming units) per ml, compared with the national limit of 25,000 per ml, the commission said.

It was produced on June 26 at Cold Stone's Pacific Department Store branch.

Tu Yijing, from Cold Stone's brand promotion department, said she had not been informed of the results. Cold Stone has about 30 stores in the city.

Vanilla flavor ice cream from Andersen's exceeded the national standard of coliform bacteria by almost 10 times, while cheese taste ice cream from Baskin Robbins sold on Wujiang Road had double the maximum amount of bacterial colonies allowed by national standards, according to the commission.

Both producers said they were unaware of the results but would have an announcement after an investigation.

The ice creams were among 22 sample products bought by the commission from 22 outlets randomly, it said.

Ten failed tests, including Chinese brands, all for bacterial problems.

Some ice cream producers have very poor awareness of food safety, the commission said, and it suggested that the authorities should strengthen the supervision and training of producers of ice cream.


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