chapter  7
28 Pages

CONTAMINANTS

Contaminants are unintentional additives and their presence in foodstuffs should be guarded against, or else be kept at minimum levels. The best way to avoid the presence of contaminants in food is to act at the source to limit their presence in the environment. The European Community (EC) employs a wide variety of measures aimed at eliminating or limiting the presence of dangerous substances in the environment that might enter the food chain as contaminants. An example of the

effectiveness of this policy is the decrease of the presence of lead as a contaminant in food following the progressive introduction of lead-free fuel for automobiles and trucks. Raw materials with levels of contaminants that could affect the safety of foods from a public health point of view should not be used for the manufacture of foodstuffs. Today, the introduction of contaminants into the food chain can be avoided by monitoring prevention systems such as HACCP (hazard analysis critical control points), beginning when the raw materials are purchased and at critical stages of the process until the foods reach the consumer.