Sunflower oil: contamination with mineral oil from Ukraine - Update

The European Commission asked EFSA on 28 April to provide scientific advice on the sunflower oil contamination with mineral oil from the Ukraine that was dispatched to several European Union countries, notified through the European alert system.

EFSA's in-house experts were asked to look at the preliminary data available in order to provide scientific support to risk managers on this issue. EFSA has not made a risk assessment, as there is little data available at the moment. EFSA has provided technical support to the Commission by identifying different exposure scenarios, depending on the type of oils concerned. When new data becomes available, if necessary, EFSA will provide further technical support to the Commission.

Update - 21 May

EFSA has given preliminary technical support to the Commission based on the results of a very limited number of samples provided to EFSA. These results showed high viscosity oil.

EFSA is now waiting for additional data from the Commission in order to confirm these findings.

Update - 27 May

EFSA has now received and considered additional analytical samples of sunflower oil contaminated with mineral oil from shipments sent to 6 Member States from the Ukraine. The samples are consistent with the initial limited data received, indicating the presence of only high viscosity compounds. From the data received, no other contaminants were present in the samples. Exposure to such oil, although undesirable, would not be a public health concern. EFSA has provided an update to its initial scientific advice to the European Commission on the basis of its consideration of these further samples.

EFSA statement on the contamination of sunflower oil with mineral oil exported from Ukraine