Tissue samples from local pigs detected with veterinary drug residues exceeding the legal limit

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (March 10) announced that two liver samples from local pigs have been detected with veterinary drug residues exceeding the legal limit. The CFS is following up the cases. 

These two pig liver samples came from two local pig farms. The test results showed that they contained enrofloxacin at levels of 320 μg per kg and 470 μg per kg respectively. Enrofloxacin is a veterinary drug as a treatment for sick pigs, which should be appropriately used at farms.  Under the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Chemical Residues) Regulation (Cap. 139N), enrofloxacin is one of the restricted chemicals used in food animals. The level of enrofloxacin in pig liver cannot exceed 200 μg per kg.  Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 upon conviction. 

CFS conducts routine surveillance on food animals entering the slaughterhouses in Hong Kong for veterinary drug residues.  The two samples were detected with veterinary drug residue levels at 1.6 times and 2.35 times of the legal maximum residue limit (200 μg per kg) respectively.  Risk assessment revealed that adverse health effects will not be caused under normal consumption based on the levels of enrofloxacin detected in the samples.    

The Government will enhance inspection at the related farms, collect samples from their pigs, and continue to follow up on the incident with the farms. The investigation is ongoing.