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UK pesticide residues in food monitoring programme

8 December 2016

The Pesticides Residues in Food Expert Committee has published its Quarter 2 2016 report on the UK monitoring programme.

This quarter’s programme surveyed 581 samples of 17 different foods: apples, beans with pods, cabbage, cooked eat, seafish, free-from products, grapefruit, grapes, honey, leeks, lettuce, pasta, pears, potatoes, prepared fresh fruit, strawberries and tomatoes.

The report states: “In most cases the presence of the residues found would be unlikely to have had any effect on the health of the people who ate the food. In the case of grapefruit, we found a residue in one sample where short-lived effects were possible if all the peel were eaten with the fruit. However, if the peel were not eaten no effect on health would be expected.’

The Committee also refer to testing for chlorates on a limited number of samples ‘to provide evidence that it is necessary to review the existing default MRL in order to take account of non-pesticide sources.’


Beans with pods

Seven samples had residues above the MRLs: one sample from Morocco, one sample from Dominican Republic; two samples from Malaysia; three samples from India.



Two samples from Turkey had residues above the MRLs.


Prepared fresh fruit

Two samples from the UK had residues of chlorate above the MRL. The Committee noted: “Chlorine-based treatments of drinking and irrigation water as well as chlorine-based surface disinfectants are widely used to ensure microbiological safety. We agree with HSE and FSA that the current MRL does not take account of these often unavoidable sources."

For more information see the full report.


School Fruit and Vegetable Summer Term 2016 Report

During the 2016 summer term 53 samples of fruit and vegetables were analysed as part of the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme. The monitoring included samples of: apples (10), banana (16), carrot (11), pear (1), raisin (3), soft citrus (5), strawberry (1), sugarsnap peas (2) and tomato (4).

There were no exceedances of the MRLs in any samples.

For more information see the full report.

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