The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published testing results for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in foods collected as part of its Total Diet Study (TDS), which shows that PFAS could not be detected in more than 97 percent of samples, and has provided an update on the agency’s activities to better understand and address PFAS in the U.S. food supply.

In addition to its sampling activities, FDA has published an updated analytical method to its Foods Program Compendium of Analytical Laboratory Methods: Chemical Analytical Manual. The new method includes the addition of 14 analytes to the existing 16 analytes, resulting in the ability to measure 30 PFAS in food and extending the method to also include animal feed samples.

To estimate dietary exposure to PFAS from the general food supply, FDA has been testing fresh and processed foods since 2019. To date, the agency has tested nearly 1,300 samples from a wide range of foods collected for FDA’s TDS, or collected as part of targeted assignments. FDA testing for PFAS in the general food supply is ongoing and the agency is taking steps to expedite its testing schedule by increasing its lab capacity.

Most recently, FDA has shared testing results for PFAS in 95 samples from one regional collection from the TDS. The agency detected PFAS in eight samples: two beef and two cod samples, and one sample each of shrimp, salmon, catfish, and tilapia. FDA concluded that exposure to PFAS at the levels measured in these eight samples is not likely to be a health concern for young children or the general population, based on evaluation of each PFAS for which there is a toxicological reference value. The present data are consistent with FDA’s previous TDS testing results that detected PFAS primarily in some meat and seafood samples, while the majority of previous TDS results did not show the presence of PFAS. To date, no PFAS have been detected in over 97 percent (788 out of 813) of the fresh and processed foods tested from the TDS.

Moving forward, FDA will continue to analyze TDS samples to increase the number of samples analyzed, with the goal of accurately estimating U.S. consumers’ exposure to PFAS from foods. FDA analyzes a wide array of foods through the TDS, including bread and grains; fruits and vegetables; and, meat, eggs, and dairy products, including milk. The agency will continue to work closely with its federal partners and state departments of agriculture and health to share information and enhance collaboration in its efforts to gather a more robust dataset of PFAS in foods while working to reduce the public’s dietary exposure to PFAS.