New methods for sampling and analysis of PCBs and dioxins in food
The Commission Regulation (EU) No. 252/20122 described in detail the methods for sampling and methods of analysis for the official control of dioxins, dioxin-like and non-dioxin-like PCB’s in certain foodstuffs. It allowed screening methods of analysis with widely acceptable validation and high throughput to be used to identify samples with significant levels of PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs (preferably selecting samples exceeding action levels and ensuring the selection of samples exceeding maximum levels). The only limitation was that the levels of PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in these samples needed to be determined by a confirmatory method of analysis such as High Resolution gas chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS).
Sampling Methods and Dioxin Analysis
This regulation has now been withdrawn and replaced by the Regulation (EU) No. 589/20141 whereby in addition to the gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS), due to technical progress and developments, also gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) can be used as a confirmatory method for checking compliance with the maximum level (ML). Regulation (EU) No 252/2012 has therefore been replaced by the new Regulation No. 589/2014 which allows for the use of GC-MS/MS as an appropriate confirmatory method for checking compliance with the maximum level.
The ML for certain contaminants in foodstuffs are set out in the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/20063 of 19 December 2006.