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. Presence of prohibited substances was also low.
A total of 708,880 samples were reported to the European Commission by the 28 EU Member States. They consisted of 360,293 targeted samples and 55,088 suspect samples reported under Council Directive 96/23/EC, and of 16,542 samples collected at import and 276,957 samples collected in the framework of programmes developed under the national legislation. The majority of Member States fulfilled the minimum requirements for sampling frequency laid down in Council Directive 96/23/EC and in Commission Decision 97/747/EC.
The percentage of samples that exceeded maximum levels was 0.35% for the year 2017. This figure is within the range of 0.25%-0.37% reported over the previous 10 years.
Non-compliance for chemical contaminants such as metals was higher than for other groups of substances, with cadmium, lead, mercury and copper the most frequently identified.
This is the first time that 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. Harmonised data will allow comparisons to be made across years and enable better analysis of the risks to human and animal health.
Monday May 13, 2019/ EFSA/ European Union.