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Pesticide residue exceeds legal limit in Chinese lettuce sample
     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (October 13) announced that a Chinese lettuce sample was found to contain pesticide residue at a level exceeding the legal limit. The CFS is following up on the case.

     A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS collected the Chinese lettuce sample at import level for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the sample contained cyhalothrin at a level of 0.62 parts per million (ppm), i.e. 3.1 times the maximum residue limit (0.2 ppm).

     "Based on the level of pesticide residue detected in the sample, 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 121 900 samples at import, wholesale and retail levels for testing for pesticide residues. Together with the unsatisfactory samples announced today, a total of 202 food samples (including 194 vegetable and fruit samples) 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 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/Friday, October 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:10
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