Over 97% of foods in EU contain pesticide residues within legal limits

13-Mar-2015 - Italy

More than 97% of food samples evaluated by the European food safety Authority (EFSA) contain pesticide residue levels that fall within legal limits, with just under 55% of samples free of detectable traces of these chemicals. The findings are part of EFSA’s 2013 annual report on pesticide residues in food, which includes the results for almost 81,000 food samples from 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway.

The 29 reporting countries carry out two monitoring programmes for the report: a national programme designed by each country, and an EU-coordinated programme under which all food control authorities monitor the same “basket” of food products. A combined total of 80,967 samples of a wide variety of processed and unprocessed food products were tested for the presence of 685 pesticides. The main findings are:

  • 97.4% of the samples analysed fell within legal limits;
  • 54.6% were free of detectable residues;
  • 1.5% clearly exceeded the legal limits, taking into account the measurement uncertainty, thus triggering legal or administrative sanctions against the food business operators responsible;
  • Residues of more than one pesticide (multiple residues) were found in 27.3% of samples.

Other news from the department research and development

Most read news

More news from our other portals

Meat from the laboratory

See the theme worlds for related content

Topic world Food safety

Food safety is at the heart of the food and beverage industry. It ensures that the food we eat every day is not only nutritious, but also free of harmful contaminants. From field to plate, the industry monitors and regulates every step of the process with strict quality controls, advanced testing methods and continuous research.

View topic world
Topic world Food safety

Topic world Food safety

Food safety is at the heart of the food and beverage industry. It ensures that the food we eat every day is not only nutritious, but also free of harmful contaminants. From field to plate, the industry monitors and regulates every step of the process with strict quality controls, advanced testing methods and continuous research.