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Excessive pesticide residues found in sweet pepper and Chinese white cabbage samples
     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (June 5) announced that a sweet pepper sample and a Chinese white cabbage sample were found to contain pesticide residues at levels exceeding the legal limit. The CFS is following up on the cases.

     A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS collected the sweet pepper sample at import level and the Chinese white cabbage sample from a supermarket in Lok Fu for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test results showed that the sweet pepper sample contained profenofos at a level of 2.9 parts per million (ppm), i.e. 5.8 times the maximum residue limit (0.5 ppm), and the Chinese white cabbage sample contained chlorpyrifos at a level of 0.31 ppm, i.e. 3.1 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 usual consumption," he added.

     Generally speaking, to reduce pesticide residues in vegetables, members of the public can rinse vegetables thoroughly under clean running water, and scrub produce with hard surfaces with a clean produce brush to remove dirt and substances including pesticides and contaminants from the surface and the fissures, when 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, 2014, the CFS has taken over 106 900 food samples at import, wholesale and retail levels for testing of pesticide residues, and a total of 189 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 0.2 per cent.

     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, June 5, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:00
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