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Commissioning of Acrylamide and Furans UK Retail Survey

A new survey is being commissioned to monitor levels of acrylamide and furans in UK retail foods. We invite your comments on the survey design and how the occurrence data might be used to identify effective mitigation measures and steps to further reduce levels of acrylamide and furans.

About this consultation

Annual communication of acrylamide monitoring results has been a European Commission requirement for many years. The latest acrylamide regulation, European Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158, established mitigation measures and ‘benchmark levels’ for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food and came into force on 11 April 2018.  Member States and food business operators are required to monitor acrylamide levels in the foodstuffs listed in Annex III of the regulation.  In addition, Commission Recommendation (EU) 2019/1888 for the monitoring of the presence of acrylamide in certain foods was published in November 2019 which suggested a non-exhaustive list of products for monitoring. 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has previously funded the continuous monitoring of levels of acrylamide and furans in UK retail foods, and the results from the last survey period of 2014 to 2018 was recently published. 

A new survey is being commissioned to monitor levels of acrylamide and furans in UK retail foods to gather occurrence data to provide a snapshot of UK compliance rates with the benchmark levels set out in European Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 and to ensure that there is sufficient data to inform on any future regulatory measures.

We invite your comments on the survey design and how the occurrence data might be used to identify effective mitigation measures and steps to further reduce levels of acrylamide and furans.

All comments should be sent by email to izaak.fryerkanssen@food.gov.uk

Responses are kindly requested by 13 March 2020 or earlier if possible.

Scope of proposed survey

Samples will be collected from a wide range of retail outlets including major and smaller supermarkets and independent retailers in the UK. The sampled produce should include:

  • Potato crisps, snacks, crackers and other potato products from potato dough;
  • Bread;
  • Breakfast cereals (excluding porridge);
  • Fine bakery wares, e.g. croissants, doughnuts, pancakes, churros, crackers, biscuits, etc. (in this category, a cracker is a dry biscuit – a baked product based on cereal flour);
  • Coffee, roast coffee; instant soluble coffee;
  • Coffee substitutes not based on chicory or cereals;
  • Baby food;
  • Processed cereal based food intended for infants and young children;
  • Fruit juice;
  • Other products, e.g. roasted nuts, roasted oilseeds, dried fruits, roasted cocoa beans and derived products, olives in brine, confectionary (e.g. fudge, caramel, nougat), vegetable crisps/fries/chips, snacks intended for infants and young children

Compared to our previous FSA Survey of Acrylamide and Furans in UK Retail Foods, the proposed survey is intended to be more targeted to ensure that the UK dataset is up to date and that there is sufficient data to inform on any future regulatory measures.

Specification requirements

  • The collection and analysis of approximately 130 samples of UK retail products will be required for acrylamide and 60 for furans, according to a sampling plan provided by the FSA. The analysis for furans will include 2-methyl furan, 3-methyl furan and, if analytical capabilities allow, 2,5-dimethylfuran, 2-ethylfuran and 2-pentylfuran;
  • Preparation and analysis of samples must use procedures in accordance with EU directives or UK equivalents;
  • Full details of each sample will be recorded in a database and reported annually to the FSA along with full methodologies, results and interpretation including trending in the form of annual reports and a final report at the end of the survey period;
  • Interim results will be provided to the FSA when available to allow the notification of brand owners of any products which exceed benchmark levels;

Publication of response summary

Within three months of a consultation ending we aim to publish a summary of responses received and provide a link to it from this page.

You can find information on how we handle data provided in response to consultations in our Consultations privacy notice.

Further information

This consultation has been prepared in accordance with HM Government Consultation Principles. If an Impact Assessment has been produced, this is included in the consultation documents. If no Impact Assessment has been provided, the reason will be given in the consultation document.