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Chemical hazards in foods of animal origin

ECVPH Food safety assurance, Volume 7

Published: 2019  Pages: 670

eISBN: 978-90-8686-877-3 | ISBN: 978-90-8686-326-6

Book Type: Edited Collection

The various national competent authorities’ monitoring plans for residues and contaminants in meat aim at verifying compliance with the requirements set out in legislation and at investigating the reasons why violations occur. In countries with high food safety standards the number of violations is very low indeed, commonly the result of fraud and negligence in observing withdrawal periods for drugs. Data generated through official controls are used to improve the design of targeted sampling plans, so as to be more effective in detecting such sporadic violations. Pesticide residues may result from deliberate misuse, illegal use of obsolete or banned pesticides, use of sub-standard or counterfeit pesticide formulations or contamination from various sources. Geographical location has been recognized as the main factor determining the background levels of potentially toxic elements in soils. Some countries have made significant progress in the mapping of polluting activities. Very relevant is the transfer of contaminants to the farming environment by feedstuffs or landfills. Environmental contaminants in feeds may also derive from fraudulent/incorrect practices. The monitoring plans function as a ‘warning system’ for detecting problems and for verifying that precautionary measures suffice to keep levels of residues and contaminants under defined limits. At present, most veterinary drug residues in foods of animal origin occur at such low levels that chronic or long-term health hazards to consumers rarely occur. The cost-effectiveness of monitoring plans can be optimized by risk analysis. Control systems should be strengthened to reduce the probability of crises related to ‘fraudulent practices’.

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