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Archived - Perchlorate testing determines no health risk to consumers

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CFIA tested over 600 samples

May 23, 2014 - Ottawa, ON - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

As part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) routine testing of various food products, a survey released today reported that all samples of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and infant formulae analyzed for perchlorate were safe for consumption.

The CFIA tested a total of 611 samples, including 433 fresh fruit and vegetable, 89 dairy product (milk, cheese and yogurt), and 89 infant formula samples, collected from Canadian retail stores.

The 2010-2011 study found that 65 per cent of fresh fruit and vegetable, 87 per cent of dairy product, and 63 per cent of infant formula samples analyzed were found to contain very low levels of perchlorate, in the range of 2 to 540 parts per billion (ppb). The highest average concentration of perchlorate detected in any of the food types included in this survey was in cucumbers. However, based on the average perchlorate concentration in cucumbers from this survey, an adult would have to eat approximately 46 cucumbers each day in order to reach a perchlorate dose that may be associated with a subtle measurable effect.

Survey results were reviewed by Health Canada and no safety concerns were identified. No product recalls were required as a result of this survey.

Quick Facts

  • Perchlorate occurs naturally in the environment and as a by-product from industrial sources, including the use of nitrate fertilizers. Since perchlorate readily dissolves in water, it can accumulate in plants and may also be transferred to animals through the consumption of perchlorate-contaminated feed or water.

Related Products

2010-2011 Perchlorate in Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Dairy Products and Infant Formulae

Associated Links

Chemical Residues / Microbiology Targeted Surveys

Health Canada


Michael Bolkenius
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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