FDA PFAS
FDA PFAS
FDA

Update on FDA’s Continuing Efforts to Understand and Reduce Exposure to PFAS from Foods

The agency also shared an update on the progress of the voluntary market phase-out of certain short-chain PFAS used in food packaging.

Subscribe
February 28, 2022

FDA

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new test results that are part of its work to better understand and reduce potential exposure to PFAS from foods. The agency also shared an update on the progress of the voluntary market phase-out of certain short-chain PFAS used in food packaging.

Research

  • Total Diet Study Results
    Results from the FDA’s most recent survey of the general food supply show that 89 of 92 food samples had no detectable levels of PFAS. Three seafood samples — tilapia, cod and shrimp — had detectable levels of PFAS. The food samples analyzed were collected for the  fiscal year 2021 regional collection of the Total Diet Study (TDS) and are the fifth set of general food supply testing done by the FDA. To date, there have been 10 samples with detectable PFAS out of 532 TDS samples the FDA has tested since 2019. Based on the best available current science, the FDA has no scientific evidence that the levels of PFAS found in the TDS samples tested to date indicate a need to avoid any particular food.

    While the FDA found detectable levels of PFAS in certain seafood samples in this TDS survey, as in previous ones, the sample sizes are limited, and the results cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions about the levels of PFAS in seafood in the general food supply. The FDA’s previously announced targeted survey of commonly consumed seafood in the U.S. is on-going and the results, expected later this year, will help the agency better understand the occurrence of PFAS in seafood and inform if additional sampling is needed.
  • Analytical Method Extension
    For this latest testing of food samples, FDA scientists extended their current analytical method from 16 to 20 types of PFAS. The additional four PFAS compounds have been reported in the literature predominantly in fish samples. This work builds on previous updates of FDA’s analytical method and is part of the agency's overall work to advance the science of testing for PFAS in foods. The extension to the method will be made available later this year.

Market Phase-Out of Certain Short-Chain PFAS

  • In 2020, manufacturers of food contact substances containing short-chain PFAS with 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FTOH) committed to a three-year market phase-out of their sales of these substances to begin in 2021. The agreements followed the FDA’s post-market scientific review and analysis of data raising potential safety concerns.

    The manufacturers also committed to providing FDA with annual updates, the first of which would be submitted by Jan. 31, 2022. FDA has received updates from each of the three companies and have posted them on it Authorized Uses of PFAS in Food Contact Applications webpage, within the Market Phase-Out of Certain Short-Chain PFAS section.