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Current Position:Home » News » Recalls & Alerts » Alerts & Food Safety » Topic

Norway: Domestic and imported berries tested for pesticides and pathogens

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-05-05  Views: 53
Core Tip: The Norwegian Food Safety Authority controls pesticide residues in food annually.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority controls pesticide residues in food annually. The Pesticide Residue Report 2012-2015 compiles and looks at the results of analyses for pesticide residues in Norwegian and imported berries.

During this period, 470 samples of berries were analysed for pesticide residues. 288 samples were Norwegian-produced berries and 182 samples were imported berries.

In imported berries, up to 12 different pesticides were found in a single sample, compared to Norwegian-produced berries, which contained up to 8 different pesticides.

In total, residues of 19 different pesticides were detected in Norwegian berries, while 54 pesticides were detected in imported berries.

The results show that pesticide residues in berries in the Norwegian market were low and below the maximum limits permitted.

Not hazardous to health
Since residues of so many different pesticides were found in a single sample, the Food Safety Authority has assessed the health hazard of eating strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, also by combining several pesticides. The calculations show that it is not hazardous to eat berries given the pesticide levels detected.

"The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is often asked whether there is a health hazard in consuming berries that contain many different pesticides. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority made some calculations, which show that the pesticide content in strawberries, raspberries and blueberries is significantly lower than the acceptable daily intake (ADI), as stated by senior consultant Hanne Marit Gran.

Infectious substances in berries
In 2015 and 2016, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority also analysed imported fresh and frozen strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The berries were analysed for the presence of certain bacteria, viruses and parasites that are known to infect through fruit, berries and vegetables.

Samples of 176 batches of fresh berries and 52 batches of frozen berries were taken. Fresh berries were examined for E. coli, Salmonella, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Frozen berries were examined for hepatitis A and norovirus.

E. coli and Giardia found in three batches
Of the 228 batches analysed, E. coli was detected in a batch of fresh raspberries from Spain and in a batch of fresh blueberries from the Netherlands. Giardia was detected in a batch of fresh strawberries from Spain. Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, Hepatitis A and norovirus were not detected in any of the samples.

"Overall, the results in the program are good and suggest that imported berries have been thoroughly examined and are mostly in good hygienic condition. However, the samples in the program represent only a very small proportion of the amount of berries imported and traded on the Norwegian market. The on-going efforts made by importers to ensure that the products are safe is therefore important in order to prevent disease caused by contaminated fruits, berries and vegetables," stated Laila Jensvoll, senior consultant at the Food Safety Authority.
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