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Foods for Infants & Young Children - Cereals and other baby foods

Processed-cereal based foods and other baby foods (weaning foods) are specifically intended for infants (children under the age of 12 months) and young children (between one and three years) as they progress onto a mixed family diet.

Processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children are covered by Commission Directive 2006/125/EC. It sets out rules on the composition and labelling of processed-cereal based foods and other baby foods. It also gives criteria for the composition (protein, carbohydrate, fat, mineral substances and vitamins) of weaning foods including, where necessary, minimum and maximum levels.

The Directive encompasses the specific rules on the presence of pesticides residues in processed cereal-based baby foods and baby foods set out in Commission Directive 99/39/EC and requires that baby food contains no detectable levels of pesticide residues, meaning not more than 0.01 milligrams of pesticide residues per kilogramme. In addition, the Directive prohibits the use of certain very toxic pesticides in the production of processed cereal-based baby foods and baby foods and establishes levels lower than the general maximum level of 0,01 milligrams per kilogramme for a few other very toxic pesticides.

In addition to the requirements relating to processed-cereal based foods and other baby foods in Directive 2006/125/EC there are also specific provisions on hygiene, on the use of food additives, on the presence of contaminants in the products and on the use of materials intended to come into contact with foodstuffs.

Further information on the legislation in these areas is available on the specific webpages: hygiene, food additives, contaminants and food contact materials.

What will the new Regulation 609/2013 on Food for Specific Groups (FSG) do for processed cereal-based foods and other baby foods from 20 July 2016?


Scientific advice

- Composition of processed cereal-based foods and baby foods

Scientific Opinion on maximum limits for vitamins and minerals in processed cereal-based foods and baby foods (1996) pdf

First report concerning the essential requirements for weaning foods (1990) pdf


Additional scientific advice

- Pesticide residues in foods for infants and young children

Scientific Opinion on a maximum residue limit (MRL) of 0.01 mg/kg for pesticides in foods intended for infants and young children (1997)

Further advice on the Scientific Opinion expressed on the 19 September 1997 on a maximum residue limit (MRL) of 0.01 mg/Kg for pesticides in foods intended for infants and young children (1998)

Scientific Opinion on lindane in foods intended for infants and young children (1998)

Scientific Opinion on lindane in baby foods (1994)