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In Europe, disinfectants (biocides) used in the food industry are controlled by a range of legislation but two are key in determining the level of disinfectant that can be taken up by foodstuffs after the disinfectant’s legitimate use.
REGULATION (EC) No 396/2005 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin and amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC, governs the use of pesticide residues.
Among the pesticides used in Europe, are didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) with alkyl chain lengths of C8, C10 and C12 and benzalkonium chloride (BAC) with alkyl chain lengths of C8, C10, C12, C14, C16 and C18. Table 1 shows the Holchem products that do, and do not, contain QAC’s.
In June 2014, set statutory MRLs of 0.1 mg/kg for DDAC and BAC were voted through at the EU Standing Committee on The Food Chain and Animal Health (Residues). The EU Commission will be issuing a statement confirming that the current guideline levels of 0.5 mg/kg will continue to be applied for 9 months after the publication of the voted Regulation.
Taking into account the standard period of EU Parliament and Council scrutiny prior to any Regulation publication, this means that the 0.5 level will be maintained for around a year– taking us to mid-2015 before the lower statutory MRL takes effect.
HSE statement on MRL's