Garden Grove, CA, March 13th, 2014
Last month, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) warned people not to eat some edible cactus that was imported from Mexico. The warning came after a routine surveillance sample, collected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), isolated an organophosphate based pesticide that has been barred from use in the United States since 1989.
In response, the CDPR took action to remove as much of the product as they could locate from store shelves and distribution centers. It has reportedly been quarantined and/or destroyed, so that it doesn’t pose a threat to consumers.
According to the CDPH, “Washing or peeling the cactus prior to preparation as well as some cooking methods (boiling) can remove some of the pesticide, however, since consumers are unable to measure the effectiveness of these procedures, it is not recommended that consumers try to salvage any of this contaminated product. If consumers have any of this product remaining in their possession, they should return it to the place of purchase or dispose of it in the garbage.” Fortunately, there had not been any reports of illnesses at the time of the CDPH warning.
One California laboratory that has been at the forefront of helping to test food products for pesticides is LA Testing. “Fortunately, this example of produce containing a banned pesticide appears to have been caught through testing before anyone became ill,” said Joy Dell’Aringa, M.S., RM (NRM), CFSP, National Food Director at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At LA Testing, we provide a wide range of food testing services within our network of laboratories, including for pesticides from produce originating in both the United States and from abroad. These services can help prevent human illnesses, costly product recalls and possible litigation that may result from cases like this.”
To learn more about pesticide or other food testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. LA Testing has laboratories throughout California to service commercial clients and government agencies as well as the general public.