Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2017

FSA Update, 3 August 2017

CONTAMINANTS - August 2017 legislative update on chemical contaminants in food: Acrylamide update

Acrylamide update - on 19 July 2017, the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed voted in favour of the draft European Commission regulation to reduce acrylamide in food.

Following our last update in June 2017, the proposal on acrylamide was presented for voting at the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed on 19 July where a slightly revised version was put forward by the European Commission.  The measure was passed in favour by qualified majority. The purpose of the new Regulation once adopted is to promote and support best practice, therefore regulatory compliance is based upon implementation of the relevant mitigation measures.

It is anticipated that the new Regulation will be adopted by the Commission in November 2017, published in the Official Journal shortly after and come into force no sooner than April 2018. Please find attached the text that was agreed at the Standing Committee meeting last week.

The upcoming Regulation is made under the general hygiene legislation (EC Regulation 852/2004) and it will be implemented by the relevant food hygiene regulations across the UK.  All food business operators that produce and place on the market the food listed in Article 1(2) of the Regulation are required to take into account the relevant acrylamide mitigation measures set out in Annex I and II to the legislation within their food safety management systems based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control (HACCP) principles. This is to ensure that the level of acrylamide in the products is as low as reasonably achievable. The text makes clear that the benchmark levels (BMLs) are NOT maximum levels for enforcement purposes. It is also acknowledged that some foods may not be able to achieve the BMLs. However, these foods may still be marketed. The BMLs are generic performance indicators for broad food categories.

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