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CFS finds excessive pesticide residues in pear sample

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (December 5) found a pear sample with pesticide residues at a level exceeding the legal limit. The CFS is following up on the case and reminds members of the public to prepare fruit appropriately, including rinsing and peeling fruit before consumption to reduce any pesticide residue on the surface.

     A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS collected the aforesaid sample for testing at import level under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. Test results showed that the sample contained dichlorvos at a level of 0.26 parts per million (ppm) i.e. 30 per cent over the maximum residue limit (0.2 ppm). According to the preliminary information, the affected pear came from the Mainland. The CFS is liaising with the Mainland authorities concerned to follow up on the incident."

     He added, "Based on the level of pesticide residues detected in the sample, adverse health effects will not be caused by normal consumption."

     To minimise health risks posed by consuming fruit contaminated by pesticide residues, the spokesman reminded the public to rinse them under running water and peel them before consumption.

     Since the Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation (Cap. 132CM) came into effect on August 1, the CFS has taken over 9 100 food samples at import, wholesale and retail levels for testing for pesticide residues and a total of 32 vegetable samples (including the unsatisfactory sample announced today) have been detected as having excessive pesticide residues. The overall unsatisfactory rate is less than 0.4 per cent. Any person who imports, manufactures or sells any food not in compliance with the requirements of the Regulation concerning pesticide residues commits an offence and is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months upon conviction.

     The CFS will follow up on the unsatisfactory results, including tracing the source of the food in question and taking different samples for testing so as to safeguard public health.

Ends/Friday, December 5, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:49


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