A tissue sample 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 (February 07) announced that one liver sample from local pigs had been detected with veterinary drug residues exceeding the legal limit. The CFS is following up the case.

The pig liver sample came from a local pig farm. The test results showed that it contained Trimethoprim at the level of 700 μg per kg. Trimethoprim is a veterinary drug regulated under the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Chemical Residues) Regulation (Cap. 139N), which should be appropriately used at food animal farms. Under Cap. 139N, Trimethoprim is one of the restricted chemicals used in food animals. The level of Trimethoprim in pig liver cannot exceed 50 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 sample was detected with a veterinary drug residue level at 14 times of the relevant legal maximum residue limit (50 μg per kg). Risk assessment has revealed that adverse health effects will not be caused under normal consumption based on the levels of Trimethoprim detected in the sample.

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