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Sampling and analysis

Woman in white lab coat fills test tube

Methods for sampling and analysing lead, cadmium, mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in foodstuffs were adopted for the whole of Europe at around the same time as the provisions on maximum content levels for these contaminants. This was to ensure a uniform Europe-wide official control of compliance with the legally binding maximum levels. These methods are governed by the provisions of the following legal acts: 

Commission Regulation (EC) No 333/2007 (external PDF, 72.4 KB)

laying down the methods of sampling and analysis for the official control of the levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, inorganic tin, 3-MCPD and benzo(a)pyrene in foodstuffs; last amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No 836/2011 of 19 August 2011 (external PDF, 775 KB).

Commission Regulation (EU) No 2016/582 of 15 April 2016 (external PDF, 607 KB)

amending Regulation (EC) No 333/2007 as regards the analysis of inorganic arsenic, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and certain performance criteria for analysis.

Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/644 of 5 April 2017 (external PDF, 386 KB)

laying down methods of sampling and analysis for the control of levels of dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs and non-dioxin-like PCBs in certain foodstuffs and repealing Regulation (EU) No 589/2014.

Last update: 15.04.2016