Many of those who work in retail, health and hospitality may not know about an important food safety issue called maximum residue limits. It is an issue which is top of mind for those in agriculture and processing as it is a vital food safety control which must be monitored at all times. There is currently a call for submissions to FSANZ to change some of these MRLs, so here is some information about what MRLs are and how they are set and then the actual call from FSANZ for submissions
The following is from the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) website (www.foodstandards.gov.au);
A maximum residue limit (MRL) is the highest amount of an agricultural or veterinary (agvet) chemical residue that is legally allowed in a food product sold in Australia whether it is produced domestically or imported.
MRLs help enforcement agencies monitor whether an agvet chemical has been used as directed to control pests and diseases in food production.
How are MRLs for food set?
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) registers and approves all agvet chemicals in Australia and sets MRLs for these chemicals. Levels are set based on how much of the chemical is needed to control pests and/or diseases. The product’s chemistry, metabolism, analytical methodology and residue trial data are also assessed.
Limits are set using internationally recognized methods and national scientific data and are well below the level that could pose health and safety risks to consumers.
Call for submissions on changes to maximum residue limits
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has called for submissions on a proposal to change maximum residue limits (MRLs) for some agricultural and veterinary chemicals.
FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said some of the proposed changes would align limits in the Food Standards Code with overseas limits, while others have been proposed by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.
“MRLs are determined based on how much of a chemical is needed to control pests and/or diseases and are set well below the level that could pose health and safety risks to consumers, Mr Booth said.
“FSANZ has assessed the proposal and concluded there are no public health and safety concerns relating to the changes.”
All FSANZ decisions on standards are notified to ministers responsible for food regulation. Ministers can decide to adopt, amend, or reject standards or they can ask for a review.
The closing date for submissions for M1016 is COB 20 January 2019
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