The Australian apple and pear industry has once again showed “an excellent compliance with food safety standards and demonstrated the strong commitment of the pome fruit industry to good agricultural practice” according to the latest National Residue Survey results. The industry achieved a 98.4 per cent compliance to Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) for apples and 98.7 per cent for pears tested in 2018-2019.
Every year, the Department of Agriculture arranges testing of Australian apples and pears for a wide range of chemical residues, microbiological and environmental contaminants, publishing the results as the National Residue Survey. It has been operating since 1992 and is funded by the statutory levies on apples and pears.
Up to 400 apple and pear samples are collected each year at packing sheds and wholesale markets. Samples are selected from participating producers with the aim of establishing a nationwide spread of samples covering as many producers as is practicable each year.
In 2018-19, a total of 245 apple samples and 77 pear samples were collected and analysed, and the results were compared with the relevant Australian Standards. Of these samples, 113 pome fruit samples were also tested for microorganisms. There were no detections above the food safety limits, resulting in 100 per cent compliance with the microbiological limits in the food standards code.