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Maximum levels of radioactive contamination in foodstuffs

Maximum levels of radioactive contamination in foodstuffs

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (Euratom) 2016/52 — maximum permitted levels of radioactive contamination of food and feed following a nuclear accident or any other case of radiological emergency

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

It sets out the maximum permitted levels of radioactive contamination of food and feed following a nuclear accident or any other case of radiological emergency.

The regulation repeals Regulations (Euratom) No 3954/87, (Euratom) No 944/89 and (Euratom) No 770/90. Any existing references to the repealed acts should be read as references to this regulation.

KEY POINTS

Scope

The regulation covers the maximum permitted levels for food, minor food* and animal feed.

Maximum permitted levels of contamination

  • If the European Commission receives official information on a nuclear accident or on any other case of radiological emergency which is likely to lead to, or has led to, significant radioactive contamination of food and feed, it must adopt an implementing regulation which will:
    • set out maximum permitted levels (not exceeding those set out in the regulation’s annexes) of potentially contaminated food or feed that can be placed on the market;
    • have as short a period of validity as possible, initially not exceeding 3 months;
    • be periodically reviewed by the Commission and, if appropriate, amended on the basis of the nature and location of the accident and of the level of radioactive contamination measured.
  • Non-compliance must be notified through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.
  • EU countries can request a temporary exemption from these maximum permitted levels for specified food or feed consumed on its territory. These exemptions should be set out in the implementing regulation.

Committee

The Commission shall be assisted on the matter by the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) established by Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law.

Reporting

The Commission must submit a report to the European Parliament and Council, setting out the measures taken, in the event of such an accident or emergency likely to lead to or which has led to significant radioactive contamination of food and feed.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 9 February 2016.

BACKGROUND

  • Regulation (EU) 2017/625 (see summary) sets out rules for official checks on the EU agri-food chain.
  • EU safety standards for exposure to ionising radiation are set out in Directive 2013/59/Euratom (see summary).

KEY TERMS

Minor food: food, such as garlic and truffles, which form only a very small part of food consumption by the general population.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Council Regulation (Euratom) 2016/52 of 15 January 2016 laying down maximum permitted levels of radioactive contamination of food and feed following a nuclear accident or any other case of radiological emergency, and repealing Regulation (Euratom) No 3954/87 and Commission Regulations (Euratom) No 944/89 and (Euratom) No 770/90 (OJ L 13, 20.1.2016, pp. 2-11)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation) (OJ L 95, 7.4.2017, pp. 1-142)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2017/625 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom of 5 December 2013 laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation, and repealing Directives 89/618/Euratom, 90/641/Euratom, 96/29/Euratom, 97/43/Euratom and 2003/122/Euratom (OJ L 13, 17.1.2014, pp. 1-73)

See consolidated version.

last update 19.05.2020

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