Last reviewed 4 May 2021

The latest report on pesticide residues in food in the EU, published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), reflects the situation in 2019 and therefore includes data from the UK.

Available on the EFSA website, the report is based on 96,302 samples, 96.1% of which fell within legally permitted levels.

For the subset of 12,579 samples analysed as part of the EU-coordinated control programme (EUCP), 98% were within legal limits.

The EUCP analysed samples randomly collected from 12 food products: apples, head cabbages, lettuce, peaches, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, oat grain, barley grain, wine (red and white), cow’s milk and swine fat.

Of those samples analysed, 5664 or 45% contained one or more residues in concentrations below or equal to permitted levels while 241 or 2% contained residues exceeding the legal maximum.

The results of the coordinated programme are available in the EFSA’s Annual Pesticides Report 2019 as browsable charts and graphs.

EFSA carried out a dietary risk assessment as part of its analysis of the results. This suggested that the food commodities analysed in 2019 are unlikely to pose a concern for consumer health.

However, a number of recommendations are proposed in the report to increase the efficiency of European control systems, thereby continuing to ensure a high level of consumer protection.