EFSA has published its latest European Union report on pesticide residues in food. The report covers the analysis of more than 88,000 food samples collected across the European Union in 2020. Data was obtained from the official national control activities carried out by EU Member States, as well as Iceland and Norway. The report also includes a subset of data from the EU-coordinated control programme (EU MACP) and the national control programmes (MANCP).
From the 88,141 samples analysed, a vast majority, 94.9% fell within legal limits. In contrast, maximum residue levels (MRL) were exceeded in 5.1% of the samples, which is an increase compared to 2019 (3.9%).
The data was used to complete a risk assessment analysis about dietary exposure to pesticide residues. This analysis suggested that the examined food commodities are unlikely to pose a consumer health risk. In the rare cases where the exposure for a specific pesticide/product combination was calculated to exceed the health-based guidance value, and for those pesticides for which no limit values could be established, the competent authorities took appropriate and proportionate corrective measures to address potential risks to consumers.
The full report, which covers the results by pesticide residues and by type of food products, as well as dietary exposure and risk assessments, can be found here. The detailed results are also available at EFSA’s website, as browsable charts and graphs.