Acrylamide regulations come into force

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Licensees warned: acrylamide occurs when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures
Licensees warned: acrylamide occurs when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures
Licensees are being warned to ensure they have measures in place to reduce acrylamide levels in food despite the fact that the EU has failed to finalise its guidance.

The regulations, which come into force today (11 April) requires food businesses to identify potential sources of acrylamide and demonstrate they have taken appropriate action to reduce the levels. 

Acrylamide is a chemical that has the potential to be carcinogenic and is created when foods starchy foods such as potatoes and bread are cooked at high temperatures, such as when baking, frying, grilling, toasting or roasting.

Trade association UKHospitality has published interim guidance​ to help catering businesses identify and implement measures to reduce acrylamide levels. 

The document, developed with input from Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and catering professionals, provides operators with best practice guidance on how to mitigate acrylamide in their food businesses. 

Dr Lisa Ackerley, UKHospitality food safety expert, said: “Unfortunately, the EU guidance is not yet finalised, meaning some critical areas of clarification are still required as to scope and interpretation.

“It is regrettable that despite our considerable efforts we have been unable to produce a final document for the hospitality sector in time for the implementation of the regulations."

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We hope that the EU guidance will be finalised sooner rather than later so that businesses can get to grips with the new legislation and will not be unfairly penalised and given reasonable time to understand and implement any necessary changes needed.”

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