Veterinary drug residues: compliance remains high

Monitoring data on the presence of residues of veterinary medicines and contaminants in animals and animal-derived food show high rates of compliance with recommended safety levels. Presence of prohibited substances was also low.

The percentage of samples that exceeded maximum levels was 0.35% for the year 2017. This figure is within the range of 0.25%-0.37% reported over the previous 10 years.

Non-compliance for chemical contaminants such as metals was higher than for other groups of substances, with cadmium, lead, mercury and copper the most frequently identified.

This is the first time that EFSA has collected these data from Member States; in the past the information was submitted to the European Commission.

EFSA collected data in the same way as it does in areas such as food additives, chemical contaminants, pesticides residues and antimicrobial resistance. Harmonised data will allow comparisons to be made across years and enable better analysis of the risks to human and animal health.

The data will be made available shortly on Knowledge Junction, EFSA’s curated, open repository, which was set up to improve transparency, reproducibility and reusability of evidence in food and feed safety risk assessments.

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