Fashion Walk, Great George Street, Causeway Bay. Photos: Google Maps, Starbucks

Edible ice samples collected from a Starbucks coffee shop in Causeway Bay was found to contain excessive amounts of coliform bacteria, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said in a statement on Tuesday.

A test result of the ice sample collected by the center earlier showed it contained coliform bacteria at a level of 1,200 colony-forming units per 100 milliliters, exceeding the limit set in Microbiological Guidelines for Food by 11 times.

The ice cubes were produced at a coffee shop on the first floor of Fashion Walk on Great George Street. The shop stopped selling cold drinks with ice cubes after the test.

The center said it had provided health education on food safety and hygiene for the person in charge and staff concerned. Thorough cleaning and disinfection of the premises had been carried out as advised by the CFS.

According to the guideline, the microbiological criteria for coliform bacteria for loose edible ice from retail outlets should be less than 100 colony-forming units per 100ml.

The excess level of bacteria indicated unsanitary conditions or poor hygiene practices during or after production of ice, but it did not mean that consumption would lead to food poisoning, the center said.

Thorough cleaning and disinfection of the coffee shop has been carried out, it said.