EU implements stricter regulations for certain food contaminants

The European Union (EU) has recently made significant updates to its regulations concerning maximum levels of contaminants in food. These changes aim to ensure a higher level of consumer safety and protection. The amendments, outlined in several Commission Regulations, address specific contaminants in different food categories.    

Commission Regulation (EU) 2024/1002 focuses on perchlorate levels in beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) with pods. Extensive studies have revealed that major bean production areas within the Union struggle to meet the previous maximum level, even when employing good practices. Consequently, authorities have decided to increase the maximum permissible level of perchlorate in beans with pods, while still adhering to the principle of setting levels as low as reasonably achievable. This regulation is effective from 25th April 2024.    

In addition, Commission Regulation (EU) 2024/1003 sets new maximum levels for the sum of 3-monochlorpropanediol (3-MCPD) and its fatty acid esters in infant formulae, follow-on formulae, food for special medical purposes intended for infants and young children, and young child formulae. Recent data obtained from control measures conducted by EU Member States have demonstrated that lower levels of these substances are already attainable by following good practices. Thus, the EU has decided to lower the maximum levels to ensure enhanced protection for human health. The regulation will come into effect on 1st January 2025.    

Furthermore, Commission Regulation (EU) 2024/1022 addresses the maximum levels of deoxynivalenol (DON) in food. It emphasizes the importance of implementing good agricultural practices to minimize the presence of DON in cereals. To achieve this, a maximum level for unprocessed cereals is established. Notably, this regulation covers unprocessed oat grains, including the husk, which may be marketed before milling or incorporation into cereal products for consumers. The regulation will be enforceable from 1st July 2024.    

Lastly, Commission Regulation (EU) 2024/1038 tackles maximum levels of T-2 and HT-2 toxins in food, particularly in cereals. Similar to the previous regulation, it emphasizes the significance of implementing proper agricultural practices to reduce the presence of these toxins. The maximum level for T-2 and HT-2 toxins encompasses unprocessed oat grains, including the husk, despite the husk being inedible. This regulation also takes effect from 1st July 2024.    

These regulatory amendments highlight the EU's commitment to safeguarding consumer health and ensuring the highest standards of food safety. By setting stricter guidelines for contaminants, the EU aims to minimize risks and promote the production and consumption of safe and nutritious food across its member states.      



Commission Regulation (EU) 2024/1002

Commission Regulation (EU) 2024/1003

Commission Regulation (EU) 2024/1022

Commission Regulation (EU) 2024/1038