Poppy Seeds and Poppy Seed Products
Commission Recommendation 2014/662/EU (OJ L 271, p96, 12/09/2014) of 10 September 2014 on good practices to prevent and to reduce the presence of opium alkaloids in poppy seeds and poppy seed products has been published by the EU.
Poppy seeds are obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) and are used in bakery products, on top of dishes, in fillings of cakes and in desserts and to produce edible oil. The opium poppy plant contains narcotic alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. Poppy seeds do not contain the opium alkaloids or contain only very low levels, but can become contaminated with alkaloids as a result of insect damage, or through external contamination of the seeds during harvesting, when particles of dust from the straw (including capsule wall) adhere to the seeds.
Commission Recommendation 2014/662/EU recommends that EU Member States take measures to ensure that good practices for preventing and reducing the presence of opium alkaloids in poppy seeds and poppy seed products are implemented by all operators involved in the production and processing of poppy seeds. The Annex to the Recommendation sets out measures which can be taken at various stages, namely:
- Good agricultural practices to prevent the presence of opium alkaloids during growing, harvesting and storage
- Good practices to prevent the presence of opium alkaloids during processing
- Recommended pretreatments and processing methods reducing the alkaloid content of poppy seeds and poppy seed products