Creme Global

Chemical Exposure from Imported Food Products

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Chemical Exposure from Imported Food Products

Requirement for Routine Monitoring

Due to the large quantities of food being imported by countries in today's global markets, routine monitoring of these imported products for chemical contaminants is essential to ensure compliance with chemical safety regulations. Chemicals that have long been removed from the supply chain for products and commodities produced locally can turn up in imported shipments of products.

It is the responsibility of the regulatory authorities and food industry to protect consumers from these potential hazards. These organisations have to monitor the quality and safety of products entering into their food supply chains and answer the following question on each occasion that a product is imported:

What are Health Consequences of Releasing This Product into the Food Supply?

In a number of cases, the answer is simple: the commodity or product does not contain any chemicals at a level of concern, which means that it is safe to release or use the product.

But, what happens if an imported shipment of product is found to contain a prohibited chemical, or a chemical with a concentration above the recommended level? In terms of potential health risks, what are the consequences of approving the shipment and allowing it into the market? Should the entire shipment be disposed of, at great expense to the supplier?

In these situations, difficult decisions are required and it is important to have the best possible information available in order to make an informed decision. It is important that one has strong scientific evidence to support measures that will prevent adverse health effects in the population.

Suppose a large shipment of honey arrives at a port, and on routine random sampling, a chemical is found in the honey at up to 10 times the allowed reference dose. Should the central inspection agency destroy the shipment or release it to the market?

Understanding the Consequences in Terms of Population Exposure

To determine the best course of action, the potential daily exposure levels of consumers to the chemical need to be understood in detail. For example, the exposure levels of children of different age groups in mg per kg bodyweight per day need to be calculated and compared with levels known to cause adverse health effects.

How CREMe Can Enable you to Answer These Questions

By entering the contaminant concentration levels into CREMe and combining them directly with a detailed food consumption database such as the US NHANES food consumption data base or the UK NDNS food consumption database, accurate predictions of exposure can be quickly generated. From food intake data, CREMe can provide chemical exposure statistics for key demographic groups.

Determining the Potential Health Risks from Known Exposure Levels

The next step is to interpret the results of the assessment, this involves a toxicologist interpreting the CREMe output data. You may have toxicologists in your organisation who can do this for you. If not, you can submit a request to the CREMe Research Network where you can find an expert who will be able to interpret the results for you.

The CREMe exposure models are scientifically validated, providing you with confidence in your results and enabling you to make decisions based on strong scientific evidence.

If health risk analysis is of importance for you, contact us and we will enable you to protect your consumers.

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