Research Article: Environmental contaminants and food safety

Date Published: February 24, 2012

Publisher: BioMed Central

Author(s): Agneta Oskarsson.


Partial Text

Food safety is threatened by numerous contaminants, which can originate from environmental pollution, such as toxic metals and organic halogenated compounds; chemicals used in the production of food, such as pesticides and veterinary drugs; contaminants formed during food production and cooking; contaminants arising from food packaging, or natural toxins in food. Consumers’ perceptions of food-related risks have recently been investigated in the 2010 Eurobarometer. The highest concern was reported for pesticides in fruit, vegetables and cereals, with 72% of the respondents being very or fairly worried. Somewhat fewer people were worried about residues like antibiotics and hormones in meat (70%), pollutants like mercury and dioxins (69%), food poisoning from bacteria (62%) or putting on weight (47%).