Pesticide residue exceeds legal limit in two tangerine samples

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (December 13) announced that two tangerine samples were found to contain pesticide residue at levels exceeding the legal limit. The CFS is following up on the cases.

     A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS collected the two tangerine samples from a stall in Smithfield Market in Kennedy Town and a shop in North Point for testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test results showed that the samples contained profenofos at levels of 0.22 parts per million (ppm) and 0.28 ppm, i.e. 2.2 and 2.8 times the maximum residue limit (0.1 ppm).

     "Based on the levels of pesticide residue detected in the samples, adverse health effects will not be caused under usual consumption," he added.

     Generally speaking, rinsing fruit thoroughly under running water can reduce the level of pesticide residues. To further reduce the intake of pesticide residues, the fruit can be peeled.

     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 128 500 samples at import, wholesale and retail levels for testing for pesticide residues. Together with the unsatisfactory samples announced today, a total of 204 food samples (including 196 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 results, including tracing the sources of the food in question and taking samples for testing, so as to safeguard public health. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:25