Contaminants in food refer to substances that are not ingredients or additives in the food product. Contaminants may render food harmful for human health, or unfit as a foodstuff. Maximum levels, supervised by the authorities, are set for contaminants in food.
Contaminants include residues of plant protection products used in plant production, and pesticides used in the prevention of weeds and pests. Residues of drugs used for the treatment of illnesses in production animals are also classified as contaminants.
In addition, contaminants, such as heavy metals or PCBs, may end up in foodstuffs or animal feed due to environmental contamination. Mycotoxins can form in food or food raw material when these perish. Feed ingested by animals may carry heavy metals or mycotoxins, that thereby end up in foodstuffs.
Harmful substances in feed refer to substances that may pose a health hazard to animals or humans via the environment or in products made from animals. Maximum levels have been set for these.