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Article Title

Pesticide residue monitoring in marketed fresh vegetables and fruits in central Taiwan (1999-2004) and an introduction to the HACCP system

Abstract

The objectives of this study are: (1) to collect and analyze the data of pesticide residues in vegetables and fruits in central Taiwan; (2) to compare the statistics of pesticide residues data in vegetables and fruits in 4 regions of Taiwan; and (3) to introduce the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system to industries and growers of vegetables and fruits for improving the safety of agricultural products. The 1999 samples of vegetables and fruits were collected from supermarkets and traditional markets by 6 local bureau of health in central Taiwan (1999-2004) and analyzed for the presence of 70∼79 pesticide residues using multiresidue analysis methods (MRMs). The detection limits of these methods ranged from 0.03 to 0.4 ppm. For central Taiwan (1999-2004), pesticide residues were either absent or compliant with the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) in 99.8% of the samples. Only 4 samples contained a pesticide residue that exceeded the MRL (0.2%, 4 of 1999). In whole Taiwan (1997-2003), pesticide residues were detected in 13.9% of the 9955 samples and 1.2% were violative. To decrease the health risk to human and environment from exposure to pesticides, the government samples and analyzes agricultural products for pesticide residues to enforce the limits set by Department of Health every year. Risk assessment and HACCP have some overlapping components; both HACCP and risk assessment are encompassed in risk analysis. HACCP is a preventative system and will provide a high level of food safety assurance. However, effective HACCP requires the consideration of all hazards, i.e. chemical (food additives, heavy metal contamination, pesticide residues, and animal drug residues), microbiological and physical hazards. HACCP principles have been incorporated into food safety legislation in Taiwan and worldwide.

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