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Results of National Residue Plan Show Continuing Trend of High Levels of Compliance

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today released the results of testing carried out under the National Residue Control Plan (NRCP) in 2016 with the overall rate of compliance remaining at an extremely high level of 99.8%.

19,250 samples were tested in 2016, taken across all 8 food producing species as well as milk, eggs and honey.  99.8% tested negative for any residues and this is a continuation of the trend over a number of years of a general absence of residues in Irish food products.  This high level of compliance has been consistent over the last number of years going back to 2013 and the Department of Agriculture welcomes this as an indicator of the responsible approach adopted by the vast majority of farmers.

Just 40 samples were non-compliant and of these the majority related to residues of authorised medicines.  Risk evaluations by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland were carried out in response to each result and it was found that there was no unacceptable food safety risk to consumers and none required a recall of products from the market. For the first time since 2011, a case of Clenbuterol was detected. This was as a result of a targeted sample taken from a bovine animal on farm which tested positive for the illegal substance. The farm concerned was restricted while an investigation, including additional testing was carried out.  While the evidence suggests that this was an isolated case and confined to one holding, the Department heightened its surveillance, which included additional testing at farm level. No further evidence of such illegal treatment has since been detected. Nevertheless, the Department will continue to be vigilant.    

Note for editors:

The NRCP, which is approved by the European Commission, forms an important component of Ireland’s food safety controls and is implemented under a service contract with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).  The NRCP, which is one element of the Department’s overall National Control Plan, focuses on food of animal origin.

The 2016 Residues Report is available at

http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/animalhealthwelfare/veterinary/veterinarymedicines/2016NRPReport190717.pdf

To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 141/2017 (pdf 200Kb) 

Date Released: 23 July 2017