Residue test results are pleasing

Latest testing for chemical residue levels in New Zealand-grown capsicums, strawberries, lettuce, mushrooms and courgettes has produced pleasing results according to the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA).

Results from season two of the annual Food Residue Surveillance Programme (FRSP), which looks at chemical residues found in fresh, unwashed produce, were released this week. The survey looked at the same range of produce that was investigated in season one. NZFSA advisor, Paul Dansted, said that although some samples showed residues slightly over the permitted level, they are an improvement on previous seasons’ results.

“We’re pretty happy with these results but we don’t intend to get complacent. Even if the results look good this time around, we want to make sure that this continues to be the case in future.”

In total 108 produce samples were tested in season two. There were no non-compliances among the 12 strawberries samples and the 24 courgette samples.

Of 24 capsicum samples, one non-compliance was found. Iprodione with an MRL of 0.1 mg/kg was found at 0.12mg/kg. Iprodione is a fungicide.

Of 24 fancy lettuce samples, one non-compliance was found. The chemical acephate, which has an MRL of 6 mg/kg, was found at a level of 6.4 mg/kg. Acephate is an insecticide.

Of 24 mushroom samples there was one non-compliance. Prochloraz with a MRL of 0.5 mg/kg was found in one sample at 0.71 mg/kg. Prochloraz is a fungicide.

A dietary intake assessment of the non-compliant results has shown that the residue levels found in this season’s samples pose no health risk to consumers, as they are well below those needed to produce any human health effects.

“These non-compliances make no significant difference to the amount of the chemical that NZ consumers are exposed to, even assuming that they consumed the highest residue levels found for their entire lives,” Dr Dansted said.

For further information contact:

New Zealand Food Safety Authority

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