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Excessive pesticide residues found in Chinese kale sample and spinach sample

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (July 20) found a Chinese kale sample and a spinach sample with pesticide residues at levels exceeding the legal limit. The CFS is following up on the cases.

     A spokesman said, "The CFS collected the Chinese kale sample and the spinach sample at a supermarket in Ma On Shan and a market vegetable stall in Kowloon City respectively for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. Test results showed that the Chinese kale sample contained acetamiprid at a level of 3.41 parts per million (ppm), i.e. about 2.84 times the maximum residue limit (1.2 ppm), while the spinach sample contained chlorpyrifos at a level of 0.28 ppm, i.e. 2.8 times the maximum residue limit (0.1 ppm).

     "Based on the levels of pesticide residues detected in the samples, adverse health effects will not be caused under normal consumption."

     The spokesman said that generally speaking, to reduce pesticide residues in vegetables, members of the public could 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 27 800 samples at import, wholesale and retail levels for testing for pesticide residues. A total of 103 vegetable and fruit samples (including the unsatisfactory samples 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 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 results, including tracing the sources and distribution of the food in question and taking samples for testing so as to safeguard public health. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Monday, July 20, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:24


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