This group of products was nominated for review in 2002 based on concerns about occupational health and safety and sulfur dioxide residues.
Following consultation with partner agencies, the APVMA found that a comprehensive review was not necessary; however, it was recommended that the labels of these products be revised. The labels have now been updated to harmonise them with the labels of similar sulfur dioxide–generating bag products and to comply with current labelling standards.
These changes provide clearer instructions for the storage and re-handling of grapes packed with these products as well as safety directions and disposal instructions for the product after use.
Refrigerated storage of treated grape containers is important to maintain grape quality and to avoid excessive release of sulfur dioxide.
Additionally, labels now state that grape pallets or larger containers of grapes packed with sulfur dioxide–releasing pads or sheets should be appropriately labelled to advise supply chain handlers of the storage requirements and to warn asthmatic or sulfite-sensitive workers that they should avoid opening stored grapes and handling the product. The APVMA does not require that individual cartons of grapes be labelled.
Sample copies of the warning notice for use in packing sheds are provided here.
There were no environmental concerns raised as part of the nomination of this active constituent. The human health and residue concerns have been assessed as being mitigated by suitable label instructions. There is no maximum residue limit set for sulfur dioxide in fresh grapes; however, maximum permissible levels of 10 milligrams per kilogram for sulfur dioxide and sodium and potassium sulfites are included in the FSANZ Food Standards Code (standard 1.3.1) for fresh grapes.