Study confirms safety of Australia’s food supply

Wednesday, 30 November, 2011

The latest Australia-wide study of the country’s food has confirmed the overall safety of Australia’s food supply, said Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King.

“The 23rd Australian Total Diet Study released by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has reaffirmed the Australian food supply is safe for consumers,” King said.

“The ATDS investigated agricultural and veterinary chemicals, contaminants and nutrients in 92 foods commonly consumed in the Australian diet. In total more than 1500 samples of food were taken as part of the study. The foods were tested as they would be eaten; for example, apples were tested without cores and chicken was cooked.

“Estimated dietary exposures to all 214 agricultural and veterinary chemical residues tested were well below the relevant reference health standards, which is consistent with previous studies.”

The study also detected no mycotoxins (toxins produced by fungi) in any of the foods analysed.

“For all contaminants, estimated dietary exposures were also below the relevant reference health standards for all population groups, including people who eat a lot of specific foods,” King said.

“The ATDS also provided a general indication of nutrient intake amongst Australians which will inform further studies, such as national nutrition surveys, that will investigate and further define nutrient adequacy.”

King said the study gave FSANZ important information that helps to guide the next ATDS, which is already underway.

“For example, the 24th ATDS will look at acrylamide in food and issues like chemical migration from food packaging, building on work FSANZ has already done in this area.

“The ATDS is a very important tool for keeping an eye on our food and ensuring its safety for all Australians.”

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