Analytical & Advisory Services Division

Residues Section

About the Section

The Section provides analytical and advisory support to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for the protection of public health and safety, and for support of their statutory functions under various Regulations and Ordinances. Major areas of work include the examination of trace levels of veterinary drug and pesticide residues in imported and locally manufactured food samples. Analytical services are also provided to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for the examination of pesticides in various types of formulated products. Analytical reports produced by the Section are admissible in courts of law as evidence of compliance or otherwise with the legislative requirements.

Responsibilities

This Section conducts analyses for enforcement of the following regulations under the Ordinances:

  • Harmful Substances in Food Regulations and Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132)
  • Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Chemical Residues) Regulation under the Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance (Cap.139)
  • Pesticides Ordinance (Cap. 133)

Quality Assurance

About 25% of the tests conducted in the Section are for QC purpose.

This Section also participates on a regular basis Food Analysis Performance Assessment Scheme (FAPAS) organized by The Food and Environment Research Agency of UK.

Key Instruments

The following instruments are used routinely by the Section:

  • Gas Chromatograph with Tandem Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS/MS)
  • Gas Chromatograph with Quadruple Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (GC/QTOF/MS)
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatograph with Tandem Mass Spectrometer (LC/MS/MS)
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatograph with Photodiode Array Detector and Scanning Fluorescence Detector
  • Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatograph with Quadruple Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (UPLC/QTOF/MS)
  • Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatograph with Quadrupole Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer
  • Automatic Gel Permeation Chromatograph
  • Automatic Solid Phase Extraction System
  • Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) System
  • Radio-immunoassay (RIA) System
Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatograph with Quadrupole Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer

Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatograph with Quadrupole Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer

High Performance Liquid Chromatographs with Tandem Mass Spectrometer

High Performance Liquid Chromatographs with Tandem Mass Spectrometer

Targets and Key Indicators

Key Performance Measures Relating to the Statutory Testing of Food Samples

Targets #
Targets 2019 (Actual) 2020 (Actual) 2021 (Plan)
88§ 96 96 88

Targets 2019 (Actual) 2020 (Actual) 2021 (Plan)
100 100 100 100

Targets 2019 (Actual) 2020 (Actual) 2021 (Plan)
95 99 99 95

# For targets where reporting time is mentioned, different samples require different analytical procedures, hence different reporting time. The quoted number of working days required represents an average of reporting time for the different types of samples and test requests within the category, while the target (in percentage) is the total compliance rate of the concerned samples and test requests within a particular category against their respective targets.

§ The target is revised from 86 per cent to 88 per cent as from 2020.

Key Indicators
Tests Performed on Food Samples 2019 (Actual) 2020 (Actual) 2021 (Estimate)
Food complaint samples 6,554 4,523 10,000
Urgent samples relating to food incidents 219 46 N.A.@
Other food samples 197,886 197,193 190,000

@ As the testing requirements for urgent samples relating to food, pharmaceuticals and Chinese medicine incidents respectively fluctuated in previous years, it is difficult to estimate the occurrence of the type of incidents or the number of tests required.

Key Performance Measures Relating to the Advisory and Investigative Services of Pesticides Formulation, Seepage and Swimming Pool Water Samples

Targets #
Targets 2019 (Actual) 2020 (Actual) 2021 (Plan)
93 100 100 93

Targets 2019 (Actual) 2020 (Actual) 2021 (Plan)
96 100 100 96

# For targets where reporting time is mentioned, different samples require different analytical procedures, hence different reporting time. The quoted number of working days required represents an average of reporting time for the different types of samples and test requests within the category, while the target (in percentage) is the total compliance rate of the concerned samples and test requests within a particular category against their respective targets.

Key Indicators
Tests Performed on Pesticides Formulation,
Seepage and Swimming Pool Water Samples
2019 (Actual) 2020 (Actual) 2021 (Estimate)
Pesticides formulation samples 334 330 310
Seepage and swimming pool water samples 41,844 44,665 40,000