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Report on a Total Diet Study carried out by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland in the period 2012 – 2014

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Continued surveillance of the Irish food supply for contaminants, residues, food additives and essential nutrients is required to ensure the continuing safety of Irish food

As part of its statutory responsibility to ensure the safety of food consumed, distributed, produced and sold on the Irish market, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) periodically carries out Total Diet Studies (TDS) to measure the dietary exposure of the population to particular chemicals that may pose a risk to health if taken into the body in excessive amounts.

The chemicals analysed were the contaminant metals aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and tin, the essential nutrients iodine and selenium, the food additives nitrates and nitrites, the food contaminants acrylamide, mycotoxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticide residues and bisphenol A and phthalates, which can be found in some food contact materials.

Overall, the outcome of this analysis showed that the Irish population is generally not at risk from intakes from food of the majority of the chemicals and to a lesser degree for lead, analysed in thestudy. Potential concern was identified for exposure to acrylamide and aflatoxins. However, these findings are not specific to Ireland, rather they are of concern worldwide and continuous efforts are being made by risk managers to reduce exposure to these substances to as low as reasonably achievable, bearing in mind that zero exposure is impossible.

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Scientific Reports |