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Document 32015H1381

Commission Recommendation (EU) 2015/1381 of 10 August 2015 on the monitoring of arsenic in food

OJ L 213, 12.8.2015, p. 9–10 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

Legal status of the document In force




Official Journal of the European Union

L 213/9


of 10 August 2015

on the monitoring of arsenic in food


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 292 thereof,



Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and is present in soil, ground water and plants. Arsenic occurs in a broad variety of arsenic compounds. Arsenic is found in water, soil and earth. Arsenic is absorbed by all plants and animals.


The main adverse effects reported to be associated with long term ingestion of inorganic arsenic in humans are skin lesions, cancer, developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, cardiovascular diseases, abnormal glucose metabolism, and diabetes.


The European Commission asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to prepare a scientific opinion on the risks to human health related to the presence of arsenic in foodstuffs (incl. drinking water).


The EFSA scientific opinion (1) recommended that speciation data for different food commodities to support dietary exposure assessment should be generated in order to refine the risk assessment of inorganic arsenic,



That Member States perform during the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 monitoring on the presence of arsenic in food. The monitoring should include a wide variety of foodstuffs reflecting consumption habits including food such as cereal grains, cereal based products (including bran and germ), fruit and vegetable juices, drinking water (including bottled water), coffee, dry tea leaves, beer, fish and sea food, vegetables, algae products (including hijiki), milk, dairy products, food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes and food supplements in order to enable an accurate estimation of exposure.


That Member States follow the sampling procedures as laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 333/2007 (2) in order to ensure that the samples are representative for the sampled lot.


That Member States carry out the analysis of arsenic, preferably by determining the content of inorganic and total arsenic and, if possible, other relevant arsenic species in accordance with Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (3) by making use of a method of analysis that has been proven to generate reliable results.


That Member States provide on a regular basis to EFSA the monitoring data expressed on whole weight basis with the information and in the electronic reporting format as set out by EFSA for compilation into one database.

Done at Brussels, 10 August 2015.

For the Commission


Member of the Commission

(1)  EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM); Scientific Opinion on Arsenic in Food. EFSA Journal 2009; 7(10):1351.

(2)  Commission Regulation (EC) No 333/2007 of 28 March 2007 laying down the methods of sampling and analysis for the official control of the levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, inorganic tin, 3-MCPD and benzo(a)pyrene in foodstuffs (OJ L 88, 29.3.2007, p. 29).

(3)  Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules (OJ L 165, 30.4.2004, p. 1).