Food safety controls testing Conducted last year by the Turkish Agriculture Ministry in line with EU food regulations showed that 5.28 percent of the analyzed products yielded “negative” results, and 4.42 percent turned out to contain pesticide residue. The results have nevertheless been viewed positively as the negative rate was below that seen in 2008.


According to The Hurriyet Daily News, Of the 22,172 samples analyzed by the ministry, 1,171 of them proved incompatible with the regulations.


The ministry conducted two different categories of analysis: “contents” analysis and “packaging” analysis. In terms of packaging, food producers passed the test with almost 98 percent in accordance with the norm. The worst results were detected in molasses, poultry, fig jam, honey, and red pepper used for spices.


fig-jam-featured.jpgThirty-four percent of molasses samples, 18 percent of poultry and meat samples, nearly 18 percent of fig jam samples, and 17 percent of honey samples proved to be negative. Almost 22 percent of honey cracker samples and 15 percent of red pepper samples turned out to contain aflatoxin, a toxin among the most carcinogenic of substances, in amounts above the allowable limits.


About 2.5 percent of olive oil samples and 8 percent of vegetable oil samples violated packaging regulations. The analyses also showed that the use of harmful oil in palm-oil production was recorded at 8 percent.


Dairy products, red meat, and grain food items had fewer negative samples than the average, and a majority of bread samples were compatible with microbiological criteria. Only 2 percent of the bread samples yielded negative results, and dairy products showed negative results for only 5 percent.


Red meat samples were analyzed in terms of unlawful additions and equine meat, and less than 1 percent was recorded as negative. However, in terms of poultry meat in addition to red meat, the samples proved negative at 3 percent.


About 17 percent of the honey samples and 34 percent of molasses samples violated packaging regulations while 8 percent of candies analyzed violated the regulations in terms of artificial food coloring.


The dried fruits analyzed gave promising results in terms of aflatoxin, particularly in the case of hazelnuts.


Almost 3 percent of the spinach samples analyzed were shown to contain above the limit allowed for nitrate which stems from overuse of fertilizers. Some 4 percent of salt samples also violated the regulations in terms of iodine content, and 2 percent of pickled grape leaf samples did so in terms of sulfur content.


Three of the 599 samples of rakı, vodka, and whisky turned out to contain methyl alcohol, and the amount of alcohol content was shown to violate the regulations for 3 percent of the distilled alcoholic drinks.


The analyses showed that manufacturers demonstrated more interest in following the rules of packaging. Only 0.3 percent of the controlled samples violated packaging regulations.


Only seven of the 3,042 alcoholic drinks and 15 of the 2,984 soft drinks tested violated the regulations. The highest rate of negativity in terms of packaging rules occurred in dairy products with 1 percent.


According to the results of the 2009 analyses, the overall rate of negativity was 5 percent whereas the overall rate of negativity was 6 percent in 2008.