To investigate the drug residue situation in commercial liquid milk products in China, 190 samples, including ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk (n=168) and pasteurized (n=22) milk samples, were collected in 2019. Milk samples were analyzed for the presence of any of the sixty-one veterinary drugs in them by using a screening assay combined with a UPLC-MS/MS analysis. Ten (5.26%) samples were found positive for β-lactams, tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, and 6 (3.16%) samples were confirmed residual for penicillin G (n=6, 3.16%), tetracycline (n=1, 0.53%) and oxytetracycline (n=1, 0.53%) with the maximum concentration of 2.85 μg kg-1, 40.64 μg kg-1, and 12.35 μg kg-1, respectively. Drug residue detection rate in Group II (4.55%, the local city domestic brands) was higher than that in Group I (2.70%, the major brands of China) and Group III (2.78%, the imported brands into China), and higher in domestic samples (3.39%) than that in imported samples (2.78%), and higher in pasteurized milk samples (9.09%) than that in UHT milk samples (2.38%). All drug residue levels were far below the regulated maximum residue limits. However, based on some veterinary drug residues detected in the sampling samples, there is a potential veterinary drug risk in liquid milk products in the Chinese market, which deserves the attention of governments and consumers.

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