SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — The government said Friday it will test for pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, as well as residual medicines, such as antibiotics, before issuing egg farms the state-administered food safety certification.
The announcement by the Korea Agency of HACCP Accreditation and Services (KAHAS) comes amid growing public anger over sales of eggs contaminated with harmful insecticides, such as bifenthrin and fipronil, in recent months.
The state-run KAHAS is authorized to issue Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) accreditation. HACCP is a global set of guidelines for the prevention of hazards in the food industry.
“We’ve found that as many as 28 egg farms out of the 52 that violated the level of permissible pesticide residue had HACCP certification,” Kim Byeong-hoon of KAHAS told a forum in Seoul. “The current evaluation system focuses on antibiotics and other residual chemicals for animals, but we will include herbicides and insecticides to the list of items to be examined.”
KAHAS will also increase its visits to egg farms to check for residual insecticides.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said Thursday it will step up inspections of the egg industry, from production to distribution, starting next month.
The government currently conducts tests on 27 kinds of pesticides, but some of the contaminated eggs were found to be tainted with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), a poisonous pesticide that was banned nearly 40 years ago.
When testing for fipronil and imidacloprid, pesticides designed to control ants, cockroaches and other insects, government officials will examine the excreta and metabolites — substances formed by an animal’s metabolism — of livestock as well.