New regulations on contaminants in food

Friday 2 March 2007

The main changes are as follows:

* Dried, diluted, processed and compound foodstuffs: the specific concentration or dilution factors shall be provided and justified by the food business operator.
* Specific rules for products that can be used for feed and food or other purposes: groundnuts, products derived from groundnuts, and cereals, must be clearly labelled to indicate their intended use

There are also maximum levels of particular contaminants for certain foodstuffs.


* Deoxynivalenol and zearalenone – limits now apply to cereal bran marketed for direct human consumption and germ

Heavy metals

* milk – extended from just cow’s milk to cover all ruminant farm animals
* muscle meat of fish – all species now fall under one limit of 300 µg/kg instead of 200 or 400, according to species


* liver and kidney – extended to include horse
* vegetables and fruit – pine nuts are excluded

Dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs

* meat and meat products – farmed game now excluded
* liver and derived products, and fat – limit applies only to bovines, sheep, poultry, pigs

Commission Regulation 1882/2006 provides a focused regime for nitrate sampling and analysis in lettuce and spinach and will also ensure a harmonised approach across the European Union to nitrate sampling and analysis.

Commission Regulation 1883/2006 lays down the methods for sampling and analysis for the official control of dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs specified in the legislation. These measures apply primarily to enforcement authorities and aim to ensure a harmonised approach to enforcement across the EU. This will help to promote consistent and effective enforcement by reducing uncertainty or dispute in interpreting results against maximum levels.

link to website