99.76% compliance rate under residue testing in 2018

The results of testing carried out under the National Residue Control Plan (NRCP) in 2018 revealed an “extremely high” overall rate of compliance, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Revealed by the department today, Wednesday, August 7, the rate of compliance was found to be 99.76%.

The NRCP covers testing for banned substances, approved veterinary medicines, pesticides and environmental contaminants, according to the department.

17,344 samples were tested in 2018, taken across all eight food-producing species as well as milk, eggs and honey.

Most samples are taken in accordance with criteria designed to target animals or products that are more likely to contain illegal residues, the department said in a statement.

This high level of compliance has been consistent going back to 2013. The monitoring of these substances helps to protect consumers and animals by ensuring a high degree of compliance with EU regulations.

In total, 42 samples were non-compliant and of these the majority related to residues of authorised medicines.

Risk evaluations carried out by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, in response to all non-compliant results, found that there was no unacceptable food safety risk to consumers.

In these circumstances, none required a recall of products from the market. In the majority of cases where positive results were found, a follow up investigation took place at the farm of origin.

Results from the extensive testing under the NRCP in 2018 and subsequent investigations carried out found no evidence of the illegal use of banned growth promoting hormones and other banned substances to food-producing animals in Ireland.