HONG Kong residents have been warned to wash vegetables before eating them in case ''fall-out'' has contaminated food grown in the area. The Health Department issued the warning yesterday as it stepped up border checks on trucks bringing fresh vegetables into Hong Kong from the mainland, and took random samples for testing by government chemists. The Agriculture and Fisheries Department also took test samples of leafy vegetables - considered to be most vulnerable to contamination - from the territory's biggest wholesale vegetable market, Cheung Sha Wan Market, Kowloon. The results of the laboratory tests were unknown last night, but both departments said they did not expect to find harmful chemical contamination of the samples. The Health Department's principal medical and health officer, Dr Leung Pak-yin, said that although there appeared to be no risk associated with eating vegetables grown in Shenzhen, consumers should wash all vegetables thoroughly. Border officers normally check for pesticide residues on incoming truckloads of vegetables, but yesterday they were ordered to increase the random checks, looking for dust and strange-smelling vegetables. ''So far all the vegetables examined have not shown excessive dust or an unusual smell,'' Dr Leung said.