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The Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2005

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

1.  These Regulations, which apply in relation to England only, revoke and re-enact with changes the Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2004 (S.I. 2004/3062) as amended. They —

(a)make provision for the execution and enforcement of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 466/2001 setting maximum levels for contaminants in foodstuffs (OJ No. L77, 16.3.2001, p.1, as corrected and amended) (“the Commission Regulation”); and

(b)implement—

(i)Commission Directive 98/53/EC laying down the sampling methods and the methods of analysis for the official control of the levels for certain contaminant in foodstuffs (OJ No. L201, 17.7.98, p.93, as amended),

(ii)Commission Directive 2001/22/EC laying down the sampling methods and the methods of analysis for the official control of the levels of lead, cadmium, mercury and 3-MCPD in foodstuffs (OJ No. L77, 16.3.2001, p.14, as corrected and amended),

(iii)Commission Directive 2002/26/EC laying down the sampling methods and the methods of analysis for the official control of levels of ochratoxin A in foodstuffs (OJ No. L75, 16.3.2002, p.38, as amended),

(iv)Commission Directive 2002/69/EC laying down the sampling methods and the methods of analysis for the official control of dioxins and the determination of dioxin-like PCBs in foodstuffs (OJ No. L209, 6.8.2002, p.5, as corrected and amended),

(v)Commission Directive 2003/78/EC laying down the sampling methods and the methods of analysis for the official control of the levels of patulin in foodstuffs (OJ No. L203, 12.8.2003, p.40),

(vi)Commission Directive 2004/16/EC laying down the sampling methods and the methods of analysis for the official control of the levels of tin in canned foods (OJ No. L42, 13.2.2004, p.16), and

(vii)Commission Directive 2005/10/EC laying down the sampling methods and the methods of analysis for the official control of the levels of benzo(a)pyrene in foodstuffs (OJ No. L34, 8.2.2005, p.15).

2.  The Regulations—

(a)provide that it is an offence, (except in certain cases relating to food placed on the market before a date given in specified Community legislation) —

(i)to place on the market certain foods if they contain contaminants of any kind specified in the Commission Regulation at levels exceeding those specified (subject to a derogation applicable to certain types of lettuce and to fresh spinach),

(ii)to use food containing such contaminants at such levels as ingredients in the production of certain foods,

(iii)to mix foods that do not comply with the maximum levels referred to above with foods which do comply,

(iv)to mix foods to which the Commission Regulation relates and which are intended for direct consumption with foods to which the Commission Regulation relates and which are intended to be sorted or otherwise treated prior to consumption, or

(v)to detoxify by chemical treatment food not complying with the limits specified in the Commission Regulation (regulation 3);

(b)specify the enforcement authorities (regulation 4);

(c)prescribe requirements in relation to the methods of sampling and the analysis of samples of foods subject to the Commission Regulation (regulation 5);

(d)provide for the application of specified provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990 for the purposes of these Regulations (regulation 6);

(e)make consequential amendments to the Food Safety (Sampling and Qualifications) Regulations 1990 in so far as they apply in relation to England (regulation 7), the effect being to disapply the sampling and analysis provisions of those Regulations only to the extent that those matters are regulated by the Community provisions implemented in these Regulations.

3.  A regulatory impact assessment has been prepared for these Regulations and placed in the Library of each of the Houses of Parliament, together with a transposition note setting out how the main elements of the Commission Directives referred to in paragraph 1 above are transposed into domestic law by these Regulations. Copies may be obtained from the Chemical Safety Division of the Food Standards Agency, Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NH.

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