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Food contaminants: new EU regulation on limits

The legislation establishes the maximum levels for each substance and for each food /Annex

Less contaminants in food. This is what the new regulation of the European Commission, n° 915/2023, prescribes which, once it came into force on 25 May 2023, will replace the previous regulation n° 1881/2006. The new legislation, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, regulates the maximum levels in foods relating to mycotoxins, vegetable toxins, metals, halogenated persistent organic pollutants (Dioxins and PCBs, perfluoroalkyl substances), process contaminants, other contaminants. For each of the contaminants, vegetable or animal foods are reported, for which there are limits.

"The maximum levels - reads the Official Gazette - should be set at a rigorous level that is reasonably achievable through good agricultural, fishing and manufacturing practices, also taking into account the risks associated with food consumption. In case a risk arises health, maximum levels for contaminants should be set as low as reasonably achievable (Alara)."

For the protection of the health of infants and young children, who constitute a "vulnerable group", it is also appropriate to establish "maximum levels at the lowest levels obtainable through a rigorous selection of the raw materials used for the production of foods intended for this population together, where appropriate, with the adoption of specific manufacturing practices.This rigorous selection of raw materials - states the new regulation - is also appropriate for the production of specific foods placed on the market for the final consumer, for which it is a strict maximum level has been established in order to protect vulnerable populations".

The foods listed in Annex I cannot be placed on the market, or used as raw materials or ingredients in foods, if they contain a contaminant in a quantity higher than the maximum level established in the same Annex. Foodstuffs which comply with the maximum levels set out in Annex I may not be mixed with foods in which these maximum levels are exceeded.

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EFA News - European Food Agency