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Excessive pesticide residue found in durian sample
     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (September 5) announced that a durian sample was found to contain pesticide residue at a level exceeding the legal limit. The CFS is following up on the case.

     A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS collected the durian sample from a supermarket in Kowloon Bay for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained ethephon at a level of 4 parts per million (ppm), i.e. two times the maximum residue limit (2 ppm)."

     He added, "Based on the level of pesticide residue detected in the sample, adverse health effects will not be caused under usual consumption."

     Generally speaking, to reduce pesticide residues in vegetables and fruits, members of the public can rinse vegetables and fruits thoroughly under clean running water, and scrub produce with hard surfaces with a clean produce brush to remove dirt and substances including pesticides and contaminants from the surface and the fissures, when appropriate. Removing the shells of hard-shelled fruits upon consumption can also reduce the possible intake of pesticide residues. 

     Any person who imports, manufactures or sells any food not in compliance with the requirements of the Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation (Cap 132CM) concerning pesticide residues commits an offence and is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months upon conviction.

     Since the regulation came into effect on August 1, 2014, the CFS has taken over 117 800 samples at import, wholesale and retail levels for testing for pesticide residues. Together with the unsatisfactory sample announced today, a total of 201 food samples (including 193 vegetable and fruit samples) have been detected as having excessive pesticide residues. The overall unsatisfactory rate is less than 0.2 per cent.

     The CFS will follow up on the unsatisfactory result, including tracing the source of the food in question and taking samples for testing, so as to safeguard public health. Investigation is ongoing.
Ends/Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:25
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