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Veterinary Residues in Horse Meat, Imported Fish Raise Mild Concerns

Sustainability Economics Food safety & handling +5 more

UK - In its 2012 Annual Report, just published, the Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC) reports finding residues in just 97 food samples of the more than 31,000 tested. Phenylbutazone was found in five samples of horse kidney and concerns were raised that leucomalachite green, which is not permitted in the EU, continues to be found in imported fish from third countries.

Imported produce

In the Non-Statutory Scheme 823 samples were collected and 1,811 analyses carried out. No residues have been detected above the Maximum Residue Limit or Action Level in the 2012 programme.

What were the residues of concern?

No non-compliant residues were confirmed in imported food samples for 2012, although two fish samples contained residues of leucomalachite green at concentrations of 0.59μg/kg and 1.3μg/kg respectively. These were below the Minimum Required Performance Limit (MRPL) of 2μg/kg (for the sum of malachite green and leucomalachite green).

What is the significance of the results?

Residues of substances not authorised for use in the EU – notably leucomalachite green - continue to be found in imported fish from third countries, which is of concern to the VRC. The Committee holds the view that surveillance of imported foods for residues of medicines used in countries outside of the EU must be maintained, and coordination improved, to strengthen Non-Statutory Surveillance results with results from other sources.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.