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CFS finds excessive pesticide residues in radish sample

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (January 6) found a radish 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 vegetables suitably before consumption, including rinsing and soaking them, to reduce the level of pesticide residues.

     "The CFS collected the radish sample for testing at import level under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained cyhalothrin at a level of 0.025 parts per million (ppm), i.e. 2.5 times the maximum residue limit (0.01 ppm)," a CFS spokesman said.

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

     To reduce the pesticide residues of vegetables, the spokesman reminded members of the public to rinse vegetables several times under running water, then soak them in water for one hour, or blanch them in boiling water for one minute and discard the water. To further reduce the intake of pesticide residues, the outer leaves or peel of the vegetables can also be removed as appropriate.

     Since the Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation (Cap 132CM) came into effect on August 1 last year, the CFS has taken over 11 000 food samples at import, wholesale and retail levels for testing for pesticide residues and a total of 43 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 result, including tracing the source and distribution of the food in question and taking samples for testing so as to safeguard public health. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:30


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