Testing of coffee, fruit juice and tea for pesticide residues determines no health risk to consumers

January 10, 2013, Ottawa: As part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) routine testing of various food products, a study released today found that all samples of coffee, fruit juice and tea analyzed for pesticide residues were safe for consumption.

The CFIA tested a total of 1,074 samples, which included 297 coffee, 510 juice and 267 tea samples, and analyzed them for over 430 different pesticide residues. The 2010-2011 study found that 100 percent of coffee, 99.6 percent of juice and 75 percent of tea tested met Health Canada standards for pesticide residues. The overall compliance rate of teas sampled in this survey is higher than the 59 percent compliance rate observed in the earlier 2009-2010 targeted survey on pesticide residues in dried tea.

Samples with levels in excess of established and general maximum residue limits were assessed and none were expected to pose a health concern to consumers. Therefore, no recalls were required.

When elevated levels of pesticide residues are detected, Health Canada may conduct an assessment to determine if the specific level poses a health risk, based on the contaminant level, the expected frequency of exposure and the contribution to overall diet. These factors help determine whether further action is needed, up to and including product seizure and/or recall. If a human health risk is found, a public recall notice is issued.

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