Five samples of preserved fruit and vegetables have been found to contain too much preservative, the Centre for Food Safety has announced. The centre collected 620 samples from retail outlets. One sample each of preserved turnip, garlic bulb and dried apricot and two samples of preserved mustard exceeded legal limits of either sulfur dioxide or benzoic acid. Sulfur dioxide could cause allergies in children, while excessive benzoic acid could lead to cancer in the long run, a dietician said. The preserved turnip sample contained 3,300 parts per million of benzoic acid, more than triple the amount permissible for that food type. It was taken from the To Kwa Wan outlet of supermarket chain Yu Kee. The chain could not be reached for comment yesterday. Sichuan mustard taken from a To Kwa Wan wet market store also exceeded the limit by 70 per cent. A pickled garlic bulb and a mustard green sample, collected from a To Kwa Wan and a Yuen Long shop respectively, contained 560ppm and 350ppm of sulfur dioxide - the limit is 100ppm. In a Tsuen Wan store, dried apricot exceeded the sulfur dioxide limit by a quarter. All the shops where the problematic food was taken from had stopped selling the products. The centre is tracing the source of the samples. The preservatives were of low toxicity, the food watchdog said. Washing preserved fruits could dissolve any sulfur dioxide on the surface, dietitian Leslie Chan Kwok-pan said.