Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released the results from its 27th Australian Total Diet Study which specifically looked at levels of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food.
The Australian Total Diet Study measures the levels of substances including agricultural and veterinary chemicals, contaminants, natural toxicants, nutrients and food additives in a broad range of foods and beverages typical of the Australian diet.
The survey, first undertaken in 1970, helps FSANZ monitor the safety of the food supply.
According to the recent results, Australian consumers’ exposure to PFAS through food is very low and poses no food safety concerns. This is good news for Australian consumers, FSANZ interim chief executive officer Dr Sandra Cuthbert said.
“The Australian Total Diet Study is the most comprehensive study of Australians consumers’ exposure to chemicals through food,” she said. “The 27th Australian Total Diet Study tested for 30 types of PFAS in 1,336 composite samples representing 112 commonly eaten foods sourced from all Australian states and territories.
“Only one type of PFAS – perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) – was detected at low levels in less than 2 per cent of all foods sampled. Overall, dietary exposure to PFOS for the general Australian population was well under the Tolerable Daily Intake.
“The Australian Total Diet Study also found that levels of PFAS were well below Australian guidance values, including FSANZ trigger points for site investigation and National Health and Medical Research Council drinking water guidelines.”
The Australian Total Diet Study found:
- PFAS levels in the general Australian food supply are as low as reasonably achievable;
- There are no public health and safety concerns for the general Australian population;
- PFAS levels in Australian foods were consistently lower than those found in overseas studies conducted in Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom and China; and
- There is no current need for additional risk management measures (like maximum levels) in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.