In 2015-2016, EFSA and European Union member states worked together to collect data for the monitoring and evaluation of chemical products in food. This report deals with various topic related to food safety:
- Pesticide residues:
In 2014, 83,000 samples were analysed by the 28 EU member states, Iceland and Norway through national monitoring programs. 778 different pesticides and metabolites were tested. 97.1% of the samples tested were compliant with MRLs, which is in line with previous years. The pesticides that most often exceeded MRLs were: chlorpyrifos, carbendazim, dimethoate, acetamiprid, imidacloprid, anthraquinone, iprodione, fosetyl-Al, hexaconazole, cypermethrin, profenofos and dithiocarbamates.
The program coordinated by the EU covered a total of 213 pesticides: 191 in food of plant origin and 58 in food of animal origin, in 12 different matrices.
It was concluded that for the majority of the samples analysed, short-term exposure (acute risk) could be judged negligible or not likely to pose health problems for consumers, but a possible short-term risk to the health of consumers could not be totally excluded. EFSA believes, however, that the pesticide residues in this program do not pose a risk to consumer health in the long-term (chronic risk). More information
- Veterinary drug residues in animals and in food:
The data collected in 2014 on the 730,000 samples analysed shows high levels of compliance, even if the non-compliance rate of the targeted samples increased slightly over previous years (.37%; contaminants in question: metals and mycotoxins) More information
- Acrylamide in foodstuffs:
With the data collected between 2010 and 2013, CONTAM scientists were able to confirm previous studies that found that acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of cancer for consumers of all ages. The types of food that contribute the most to acrylamide exposure are fried potato products, coffee, biscuits, bread and toast. The choice of ingredients, the storage method and the cooking temperature can influence the quantity of acrylamide formed in the various food products and thus the level of exposure.
EFSA and the member states published an infographic with tips for reducing the level of acrylamide in food, accessible through the following link: here
- Fatty acid esters of glycidol and 3-MCPD in vegetable oils and foodstuffs:
The highest concentrations of fatty acid esters of glycidol (GE) and of 3-MCPD and 2-MCPD (including the esters thereof) were found in palm oil and palm fats, followed by other oils and fats. Nevertheless, the scientific panel’s review revealed that the levels of GE in palm oils and palm fats were cut in half between 2010 and 2015, due to voluntary measures adopted by producers. More information
Click here to see the complete EFSA report
And be sure to check out these two videos from EFSA:
- Pesticides in the food industry
- Process contaminants
In addition, EFSA has just revealed its new database: OpenFoodTox, available here!
This tool compiles the data on more than 4,000 chemical substances and more than 1,600 EFSA scientific opinions published since 2002.