Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Bitter gourd and Chinese spinach samples detected with pesticide residues exceeding legal limit

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (September 23) that a bitter gourd sample and a Chinese spinach sample were detected with pesticide residues at levels exceeding the legal limit. The CFS is following up on the cases.

     A spokesman said, "The CFS collected a bitter gourd sample at import level and a Chinese spinach sample at a supermarket in To Kwa Wan for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. Test results showed that the bitter gourd and Chinese spinach samples contained cyhalothrin at a level of 0.091 parts per million (ppm) and 0.42 ppm respectively, i.e. 1.82 and 2.1 times the maximum residue limits (0.05 ppm and 0.2 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.

     The spokesman said that, generally speaking, to reduce pesticide residues in vegetables, members of the public can 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 (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 last year, the CFS has taken over 35,500 samples at import, wholesale and retail levels for testing for pesticide residues and a total of 116 vegetable and fruit 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.

     The CFS will continue to follow-up on the unsatisfactory samples, including tracing the sources and distribution of the food in question, and step up sample testing to safeguard public health. Should there be sufficient evidence, prosecution will be considered. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:29


Print this page