Call for occurrence data on cadmium levels in food

29 November 2007

Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs contains the most recent maximum levels for cadmium. However, since these levels continue to be constantly reviewed, the European Commission considered it important to have access to an updated scientific basis for risk management purposes. The Commission thus requested that the EFSA Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain provide a scientific opinion on the risks to human health related to the presence of cadmium in foodstuffs. The opinion will consider any new developments regarding the toxicity of cadmium and include an updated assessment of exposure from food (including drinking water) in relation to non-dietary sources (e.g. air, cigarette smoke etc.), while taking into account available biomonitoring data and compare such results with the calculated exposure. The exposure situation for specific groups of the population will be addressed (e.g. infants and children, pre- and post-menopausal women, special diets, smokers/alcohol consumption, etc.) and an indication of the age group of the population most exposed to cadmium.

In addressing exposure, EFSA will in the first place utilise already available information, but there is also an important need to collect recent analytical data on cadmium levels in foodstuffs. EFSA is thus issuing a call for data on cadmium levels in food and beverages.

The following information should accompany analytical food results whenever available:

Reporting country
Member State in which the monitoring has been carried out.
Sample code
Identification code of the sample if available.
Year of sampling.
Type of sampling

(R) random sampling (market survey) or (T) targeted sampling (official food control).

Product name
The product name in English if possible.
Food classification

It would be helpful, but not compulsory, if the food could be assigned to one of the following food groups that will be used for exposure calculation:

1A      Cereal-based mixed dishes (composite food)

1B      Cereals & cereal products (excluding cereal-based mixed dishes)

2         Sugar & sugar products including chocolate

3         Fats (vegetable and animal)

4A      Vegetable soups

4B      Vegetables, nuts, pulses (as defined in Regulation (EC) No. 178/2006) except vegetable soups

5         Starchy roots or potatoes (information whether peeled or not is needed)

6         Fruits (as defined in Regulation (EC) No. 178/2006)

7A      Fruit and vegetable juices

7B      Soft drinks with percentage of fruits lower than nectar, excl fruit juice

7C      Bottled water
8         Coffee, tea, cocoa
9A      Beer and substitutes
9B      Wine and substitutes

9C      Other alcoholic beverages and substitutes

10A    Meat and meat products and substitutes

10B    Edible offal and offal products

10C    Meat based mixed dishes (composite food)

11A    Seafood and seafood products (excluding fish and fish products)

11B    Fish and fish products

11C    Fish based mixed dishes (composite food)

12       Eggs

13A    Milk and dairy based drinks

13B    Dairy based products
13C    Cheese
14A    Miscellaneous foods

14B    Food for special dietary uses and food supplements

15       Tap water

Some examples of food categorisations are given in the document “Examples food groups.doc” to help in performing the task.

Method accredited

Please indicate with ‘Y’ (yes) or ‘N’ (no) if the analytical result has been generated by an accredited method.

Analytical method

Please indicate which analytical method has been used (GF-AAS, F-AAS, ICP-MS or other).

Limit of detection
In μg/kg.
Limit of quantification
In μg/kg.
Cadmium level
In μg/kg fresh weight.

The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2007 due to the short timeframe for the opinion. Member State data submissions should be sent to this e-mail address:

contaminants [at]

Contact person in EFSA:

Dr. Stefan Fabiansson
Data Collection and Exposure
European Food Safety Authority
Largo N. Palli 5/A, I-43100 Parma, Italy
Tel: +39 0521 036 446 Fax: +39 0521 036 0 446


5 November 2007