New maximum allowed concentrations for lead and a planned revision of maximum mercury concentrations

On 16. July 2015 Regulation (EC) 2015/1005 amending Contaminant Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 regarding maximum levels of lead in certain foods came into force. Some of the existing maximum levels will be lowered and others will be raised, while additional maximum concentrations will be introduced for further product categories. The amended and new maximum levels will be valid as of 1 January 2016.

Lowered maximum levels include those for lead in infant formulas and follow-on formulas (with separate maximum levels for powdered and ready-to-feed liquid products) and in fruit juices (except for those made exclusively from berries and other small fruit). Raised maximum levels include those for lead in black salsifies. Newly introduced maximum levels apply to additional product categories intended for infants and young children (complementary food, drinks, products for special medical purposes) and for honey.

Click here for the complete Regulation amending maximum lead concentrations.

Moreover, according to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), revision of the maximum mercury levels in foodstuffs is currently being discussed at EU level. This would mean that the maximum levels for fish and fish products as well as for food supplements as specified in the contaminant regulation would be revised and new maximum concentrations defined for further foodstuffs.