In the European Union, monitoring data on the presence of residues of veterinary medicines and contaminants in animals and animal-derived food show high rates of compliance with recommended safety levels, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The presence of prohibited substances was also low.
The percentage of samples that exceeded maximum levels for 2017 was 0.35%, which is within the range of 0.25-0.37% reported over the previous 10 years, EFSA said.
Non-compliance for chemical contaminants such as metals was higher than for other groups of substances, with cadmium, lead, mercury and copper identified the most frequently, the agency added.
This is the first time EFSA has collected these data from member states; in the past, the information was submitted to the European Commission.
EFSA collected data in the same way as it does in areas such as food additives, chemical contaminants, pesticides residues and antimicrobial resistance. Harmonized data will allow comparisons to be made across years and will enable better analyses of the risks to human and animal health, the agency said.
EFSA said the data will be made available on Knowledge Junction, its curated, open repository, which was set up to improve transparency, reproducibility and reusability of evidence in food and feed safety risk assessments.