Excessive pesticide residue found in Indian lettuce sample

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (April 13) found an Indian lettuce 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 Indian lettuce 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 0.39 parts per million (ppm), i.e. 1.95 times the maximum residue limit (0.2 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," he added.

     To reduce pesticide residues in 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.

     Any person who imports, manufactures or sells any food not in compliance with the requirements of the Pesticide Residues in Food 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/Monday, April 13, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:22