Gesundheit für Mensch, Tier & Pflanze

National nitrate control program for spinach, lettuce and arugula

Final report of the priority action A-902-18

The aim of the focus action was to check the nitrate content of vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, which can contain a lot of nitrate. In the European Union, nitrate levels must be monitored. 88 samples from the federal states of Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol and Vienna were examined. Eight samples were objected to due to exceeding the legal maximum level for nitrate:

  • six samples of spinach/fresh (sample drawing period 2 x April, 3 x October, 1 x November)
  • two samples of arugula (sample drawing July and September, respectively).

Since the climatic conditions and the cultivation method have a significant influence on the nitrate content, different maximum nitrate levels are set depending on the season (harvest in winter/summer) or cultivation method (under foil/glass, open field).

Last updated: 18.07.2022

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