Health for humans, animals & plants

National nitrate control program for spinach, lettuce and arugula

Final report of the priority action A-902-19

With the focus action, spinach, lettuce and arugula were tested for their nitrate content.

87 samples originating exclusively from Austria were tested.

  • Four samples of spinach/fresh (sample drawing period once in March, three times in April) were objected to because the legal maximum nitrate content was exceeded.

Nitrate is sensitive to higher temperatures and exposure to light, which is why nitrate levels generally decrease over the summer months. Nitrate levels are higher in months with "moderate to cool temperatures" for lettuce and arugula, which is why there are different limits depending on the season. For fresh spinach, a year-round maximum level applies.

Last updated: 18.07.2022

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