New regulations for food service operators on acrylamide
From 11 April, Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 will insist that operators keep acrylamide levels as low as possible in foodstuffs.
The regulations will establish best practice, mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food.
Acrylamide is a chemical substance formed by a reaction between amino acids and sugars. It typically occurs when foods with high starch content are fried, roasted or baked. In 2015, the Food Chain of the European Food Safety Authority confirmed previous evaluations that acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers.
Food service operators will be expected to: be aware of acrylamide as a food safety hazard and have an understanding of how the chemical is formed in the food they produce; take necessary steps to mitigate acrylamide formation in the food they produce; adopt the relevant measures as part of their food safety management procedures; undertake representative sampling and analysis where appropriate, to monitor the acrylamide levels in their products as part of their assessment of the mitigation measures; and keep appropriate records of the mitigation measures undertaken, together with sampling plans and results of any testing.
The measures are proportionate to the nature and size of the businesses they address. The new legislation applies to food service operators that produce or place on the market foods such as: French fries, potato crisps, bread, breakfast cereals, coffee and baby food.
Different requirements apply to local and independent food service operators selling food directly to the consumer or directly into local retail, such as independent cafes, fish and chip shops and restaurants.