Information update: 12/2012
Issued: 20 July 2012
Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC ) is a quaternary ammonium compound used for both disinfectant and plant protection purposes. Due to its classification as a plant protection active substance, statutory maximum residue levels (MRLs ) for DDAC residues apply to food and feed products under the terms of EC Regulation 396/2005.
In the case of DDAC all foods and feeds are subject to an MRL of 0.01 mg/kg.
Recent analyses carried out by food businesses and regulatory authorities have detected unexpected residues of DDAC above the MRL of 0.01 mg/kg. It is believed that the primary source of these residues is disinfectant use - mostly through treatment of surfaces with biocide products, as well as disinfection of water used for food washing and irrigation.
In the light of these results, the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH), including representatives from the UK and other Member States, met on 12 and 13 July to discuss what action should be taken.
It was agreed that the attached guidelines should be issued. These include the adoption of a higher temporary guideline MRL of 0.5 mg/kg for all food and feed of plant and animal origin. This will enable the marketing of produce with residues of DDAC above the current statutory MRL . The proposal of 0.5 mg/kg was assessed for its potential toxicological effects and was judged to be safe for all consumer groups.
This temporary guideline MRL applies with immediate effect, and will remain in place pending any further decision by the SCoFCAH. In the meantime further information or data will be sought to allow, if possible, the setting of a substantive statutory MRL.
We understand that the guideline level should cover residues arising from most disinfectant uses, although businesses involved with the placing on the market, distribution and sale of foods and feeds should employ appropriate quality control measures to ensure that marketed produce does not exceed 0.5 mg/kg.
CRD is considering what arrangements might be put in place to monitor compliance with the raised guideline MRL.
If you have any questions concerning this information update please contact Russell Wedgbury at email@example.com