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Commission Working Document, 10 November 2016
The Commission is seeking to lower the levels of acrylamide in the diet. It is working on a draft regulation to support this. Version 6 of their Working Document has been published. The following is the introduction to the document. Note that this is work in progress.
For a copy of the Working Document, see: Working Document – Acrylamide Reduction Draft and Acrylamide Reduction Draft Annexes
COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) …/… of XXX on the application of codes of good practice to reduce the presence of acrylamide in food
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Having regard to Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs1, and in particular Article 4 (4) thereof,
(1) The Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) adopted an opinion on acrylamide in food2. The CONTAM Panel concluded that although the available human studies have not demonstrated that acrylamide is a human carcinogen, the Margin of Exposure (MOEs) based on the current levels of dietary exposure to acrylamide across surveys and age groups indicate a concern with respect to carcinogenic effects.
(2) It is therefore appropriate to reduce the presence of acrylamide as much as possible by applying measures to prevent and reduce formation of acrylamide in specific manufacturing practices. These measures are contained in Codes of Practice which have been developed by the relevant sector organisations. These Codes of Practice have been scrutinised and commented by the Commission services and competent authorities and updated according by the sector organisations. The Codes of practice have been endorsed by the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed. Codes of Practice have been developed for potato based products, cereal based products, coffee and coffee substitutes and baby food and for plant bakery products. Specific codes of practices have been elaborated for food business operators who place on the market directly to the consumer ready-to-eat food.
(3) Given the human health concerns related to the presence of acrylamide in food, it is appropriate to make the application of the Codes of Practice mandatory.
(4) Food business operators should establish an ongoing monitoring programme as part of their established Food Safety Management Systems to analyse their food products for the presence of acrylamide. Data from the programme should be used to confirm that, via the application of the obligatory requirements within the Code of Practice, they are successfully managing acrylamide levels. Specific levels are set to be used by food business operators as benchmark to verify the effectiveness of their controls. To ensure that the analytical results are reliable, the analysis should be performed in compliance with the analytical requirements provided for in Regulation (EC) 333/2007.
(5) The successful application of the Codes of Practice should result in lower levels of acrylamide. Therefore the levels to be used as benchmark should be regularly reviewed based on the most recent occurrence data.
(6) The Codes of practice should also be regularly reviewed to take into account the developments in new mitigation measures to further reduce the presence of acrylamide in food.
(7) To ensure that the Codes of Practice are applied by the food business operators and that food business operators fulfil their obligations to check the effectiveness of the mitigation measures to reduce the presence of acrylamide in food by taking sufficient samples and analyse for the presence of acrylamide, the Member States should put in place effective controls. The sampling and analysis should be performed in accordance with the provisions provided for in Commission Regulation (EC) No 333/2007.
(8) It is important for public health that the measures provided for in this Regulation result in an effective reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food. It is therefore important that a regular exchange of experiences with the implementation of the measures provided for in this Regulation is foreseen and that a temporal trend analysis of the levels of acrylamide in foodstuffs across the European Union is performed every three years on the basis of the data submitted to EFSA by the Member States as an instrument to verify the effectiveness of the measures to reduce acrylamide in food.
(9) The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed