Estonian results from the monitoring of pesticide residues in food
This dataset contains the analytical results of pesticide residues measured in the food products analysed by the national competent authorities. Pesticide residues resulting from the use of plant protection products on crops that are used for food or feed production may pose a risk factor for public health. For this reason, a comprehensive legislative framework has been established in the European Union (EU), which defines rules for the approval of active substances used in plant protection products, the use of plant protection products and for pesticide residues in food. In order to ensure a high level of consumer protection, legal limits, so called “maximum residue levels” or briefly “MRLs”, are established in Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EU-harmonised MRLs are set for all pesticides covering all types of food products. A default MRL of 0.01 mg/kg is applicable for pesticides not explicitly mentioned in the MRL legislation. Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 imposes on Member States the obligation to carry out controls to ensure that food placed on the market is compliant with the legal limits.
A sample is considered free of quantifiable residues if the analytes were not present in concentrations at or above the limit of quantification (LOQ). The LOQ is the smallest concentration of an analyte that can be quantified with the analytical method used to analyse the sample. It is commonly defined as the minimum concentration of the analyte in the test sample that can be determined with acceptable precision and accuracy.
If a sample is contains quantifiable residues but within the legally permitted limit (maximum residue level, MRL), it is described as a sample with quantified residue levels within the legal limits (below or at the MRL)
A sample is considered non-compliant with the legal limit (MRL), if the measured residue concentrations clearly exceed the legal limits, taking into account the measurement uncertainty. It is current practice that the uncertainty of the analytical measurement is taken into account before legal or administrative sanctions are imposed on food business operators for infringement of the MRL legislation.