Livsmedelsverket, known in English as The Swedish Food Agency, has commenced its 2022 Food Basket Survey, which will assess the presence of nutritive and harmful substances in the Swedish food supply. Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) will be one focus of the survey.
PFAS are “forever chemicals” that are present in some food contact materials and consumer goods, which enter the environment and persist indefinitely. The transfer of the substances into foods is an emerging food safety concern, due to the harmful health effects associated with PFAS.
For the Food Basket Survey, A total of 100 kilos of food across 19 different food groups will be mixed. The mixture will be portioned into more than 1,000 sample jars for analysis. The 2022 Food Basket Survey will follow up on trends from previous years, and will include vegetable drinks as a new food group to be assessed.
The Food Basket Survey conducted in 2015 showed no significant risk to public health in the food supply. However, the survey found that toxic heavy metals as lead, mercury, and cadmium have not diminished significantly from the food supply, whereas some substances that are beneficial to human health, such as iodine, have decreased sharply. Additionally, cadmium intake appeared to increase, possibly due to the consumption of grains.
The foods that are included in the Food Basket Survey are based on the Swedish Agency for Agriculture’s data on direct consumption in Sweden, which is the total deliveries of food to households divided by the number of inhabitants in the country.