2009-2010 Melamine Residues In Fluid Milk, Milk-based Products and Soy-based Products

Executive Summary

The Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP) aims to modernize and enhance Canada's food safety system. As a part of the FSAP enhanced surveillance initiative, targeted surveys are used to test various foods for specific hazards.

The main objectives of the melamine in fluid milk, milk-based and soy-based products (excluding infant formulas) targeted survey were to:

  • Provide baseline surveillance data for melamine levels in milk, milk-based and soy-based foods.
  • Provide initial baseline data dealing with pesticide residues and metal levels in milk-based and soy-based products.

The 2009-2010 Melamine Survey targeted domestic fluid milk, domestic/imported milk-based products, and domestic/imported soy-based products. In total, 600 samples (250 domestic, 350 imports) were collected in the five following regional areas: Atlantic, Quebec, Greater Toronto, Greater Calgary and Vancouver. Overall, of the 600 samples tested, 579 had no detectable levels (<0.05 ppm) of melamine, while the remaining 21 samples were below Health Canada's interim standard of 2.5 ppm established for milk-based products. No melamine was detected in domestically sampled fluid milk. Thirteen of the 237 milk-based samples and eight of the 300 soy-based samples had detectable levels of melamine below 2.5 ppm. None of the results from the 2009-2010 melamine targeted survey exceeded the interim melamine standard of 2.5 ppm.

The CFIA also analysed the collected samples for over 200 different pesticide residues and 18 metals. Twenty-three samples contained detectable pesticide residues, 21 samples contained one pesticide residue and 2 samples contained two pesticide residues. One sample contained pirimiphos-methyl residues above the Canadian General MRL of 0.1 ppm. Of the 18 metals tested, two samples contained levels of arsenic >1.0 ppm and 11 samples had quantifiable levels of antimony. The levels of pesticide residues and metals found in the foods analysed do not pose a risk to human health. The overall compliance rate for the pesticide residue and metals analysis was 99.8%.

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