CFS announces food safety report for July
A CFS spokesman said about 1 500 food samples were collected for microbiological tests, some 4 000 samples were taken for chemical tests and the remaining 9 300 (including about 8 800 taken from food imported from Japan) were collected to test radiation levels.
The microbiological tests covered pathogens and hygienic indicators, while the chemical tests included pesticides, preservatives, metallic contaminants, colouring matters, veterinary drug residues and others.
The samples comprised about 3 900 samples of vegetables and fruit and their products; 800 samples of cereals, grains and their products; 700 samples of meat and poultry and their products; 1 200 samples of milk, milk products and frozen confections; 1 800 samples of aquatic and related products; and 6 400 samples of other food commodities including beverages, bakery products and snacks.
The 11 unsatisfactory samples comprised three vegetable and fruit samples detected with pesticide residues exceeding the legal limits, three samples of Shanghai noodles detected with excessive preservative, two swordfish samples found to contain mercury exceeding the legal limit, a mud carp sample and a freshwater grouper sample found to contain traces of malachite green and a fresh beef sample found to contain sulphur dioxide.
The CFS has taken follow-up action on the unsatisfactory samples, including informing the vendors concerned of the test results, instructing them to stop selling the affected food items and tracing the sources of the food items in question.
Since the Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation (Cap 132CM) came into effect on August 1, 2014, as of July 31 this year the CFS has taken over 181 600 food samples at the import, wholesale and retail levels for pesticide residue testing. The overall unsatisfactory rate is less than 0.2 per cent.
The spokesman added that excessive pesticide residues in food may arise from the trade not observing Good Agricultural Practice, e.g. using excessive pesticides and/or not allowing sufficient time for pesticides to decompose before harvesting. The maximum residue limits (MRLs) of pesticide residues in food set in the Regulation are not safety indicators. They are the maximum concentrations of pesticide residues to be permitted in a food commodity under Good Agricultural Practice when applying pesticides. In this connection, consumption of food with pesticide residues higher than the MRLs will not necessarily lead to any adverse health effects.
The spokesman reminded the food trade to ensure that food for sale is fit for human consumption and meets legal requirements. Consumers should patronise reliable shops when buying food and maintain a balanced diet to minimise food risks.
Ends/Friday, August 30, 2019
Issued at HKT 15:00
Issued at HKT 15:00