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  1. CFSAN Constituent Updates

FDA Makes Available PFAS Testing Results from First Survey of Processed Foods

Constituent Update

August 26, 2021

The Food and Drug Administration is making available per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) testing results from our first survey of nationally distributed processed foods, including several baby foods, collected for the Total Diet Study (TDS). Results of this survey showed that 164 of the 167 foods tested had no detectable levels of the PFAS measured. Three food samples had detectable levels of PFAS: fish sticks (PFOS and PFNA), canned tuna (PFOS and PFDA), and protein powder (PFOS). Based on the best available current science, the FDA has no scientific evidence that the levels of PFAS found in the TDS samples tested since 2019 indicate a need to avoid any particular foods in the general food supply.

As with the results from FDA’s previous testing of foods from the general food supply, in this survey we found detectable levels of PFAS in certain seafood samples. The sample sizes are limited, and these results cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions about the levels of PFAS in seafood in the general food supply. However, as we announced on June 30, 2021, the FDA is conducting a targeted survey of the most commonly consumed seafood in the U.S. Results from the targeted seafood survey will be used to determine if additional sampling of fish and shellfish is needed.

Since 2019, the FDA has analyzed 440 Total Diet Study samples for PFAS in four collections. The three previously posted TDS survey results were from three regional collections and included foods that are more likely to vary by location or time of year, such as fresh produce, meats, and dairy products. In total, seven of the 440 foods have been found to have detectable levels of PFAS.

FDA’s survey of PFAS in processed food, published in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, is among the first studies of its kind and is an important step in our ability to test for PFAS in the wide range of foods in the U.S. food supply. These results will be used to inform FDA activities going forward, including whether PFAS should be in the TDS and if targeted sampling assignments are necessary for certain food commodities, such as the seafood survey that is underway.

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