Contaminants

Contaminants

Brexit

Notice to stakeholders withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Food Law

 

Contaminants are substances that have not been intentionally added to food. These substances may be present in food as a result of the various stages of its production, packaging, transport or holding. They also might result from environmental contamination. Since contamination generally has a negative impact on the quality of food and may imply a risk to human health, the EU has taken measures to minimise contaminants in foodstuffs.

European Union measures (establishment of maximum levels) have been taken for the following contaminants:

  • mycotoxins (aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, fusarium-toxins, patulin, citrinin)
  • metals (cadmium, lead, mercury, inorganic tin, arsenic)
  • dioxins and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)
  • 3-MCPD
  • melamine
  • erucic acid
  • nitrates

The European Commission has published a factsheet on food contaminants: "Managing food contaminants: how the EU ensures that our food is safe".