PFAS in food, feed and animals

PFAS can be found in foodstuffs if they are produced in a polluted area.

PFAS binds to protein and is found in the highest concentrations in animal products as beef and fish. For meat the source of PFAS can be feed or water, and for vegetables PFAS can be found primarily in stems and vegetative parts of the plants.

EFSA expects that the European citizens' exposure to PFAS through food primarily comes from fish (ca. 60 %), fruit (ca. 13 %), eggs (ca. 11 %) and meat (ca. 8 %), whereas vegetables, dairy, and drinking water contributes less than this. The contributions are a combination of content in foods and diet patterns.

In 2020 EFSA reduced the acceptable weekly intake to 4 ng/kg bodyweight for the sums of PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS og PFNA.​


EU has maximum limits for PFAS in animal product in regulation 2022/2388. The regulation sets maximum limits for PFOS, PFOA, PFNA and PFHxS individually and for the sum of the PFAS4 in fishery products, meat and eggs.

Samples for testing of compliance with the ML's should be taken according to regulation 2022/1428. Also, the Commission has made a recommendation 2022/1431 on data collection of PFAS in foodstuffs. This recommendation also contains indicative levels for milk, fruit, vegetables, food for infants and young children etc. If findings are above the indicative levels, the causes of the contamination must be investigated further.

Environmental hot spot contaminations

PFAS can accumulate in animals and mainly binds to proteins. When elevated levels of PFAS in the environment is found and there is food production on the area, the DVFA will evaluate the risk of non-compliance levels of PFAS in the produced food. Samples of blood from grassing animals, meat or fruit and vegetables can be taken to evaluate levels of PFAS in the produced food. If non-compliant levels are found, the DVFA will ban sales of the commodities from this area.

Control of PFAS levels in food by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA)
PFAS is included in the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration´s annual control since 2011. Meat from pigs, chicken, cows and game are analyzed and also eggs, milk, fish and shellfish. Only low concentrations are found and below the new EU- maximum levels.

The DVFA analyses food on the Danish market regularly for contaminants such as PFAS, including eggs, and will intervene when levels are above maximum limits Results of PFAS testing in foodstuffs: Resultater fra undersøgelser af organiske miljø og procesforureninger i fødevarer

Food contact materials

PFAS have been used in food contact materials such as baking sheets, muffin forms, fast food paper and board etc. Denmark banned marketing of food contact materials with added PFAS in 2020.