An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Survey of PFOS and Related Fluorochemicals in Food

Central Science Laboratory
Start date
End date
  1. An improved analytical method was developed and validated for the determination of PFOS and related fluorochemicals. This method delivered reproducible analyses at low levels (1 ìg/kg RL) in all foods for the 11 selected analytes.
  2. This method was then applied to the analysis of an initial 199 individual food samples.
  3. PFOS and PFCs were found mainly in the fish, shellfish, crustaceans and offal food groups.
  4. A further 53 food samples of fish, crustaceans and offal were then obtained and analysed.
  5. This survey of 11 fluorochemicals in each of 252 individual food items is almost certainly the largest single study of the occurrence and levels of PFOS and PFCs in foods undertaken to date.
  6. No samples were found in this survey of UK food that might be considered to be ‘highly contaminated’ with PFCs.
  7. The two highest contamination levels were for PFOS at 60 ìg/kg in a sample of smoked eel, and at 40 ìg/kg in a sample of whitebait. The highest level in an offal sample was 10 ìg/kg in a wild Roe deer liver.
  8. The 8 samples with total PFCs at >15 ìg/kg were all in the fish group where contamination was expected (fish, shellfish, crustaceans). 5 samples (including a liver) contained 5-14 ìg/kg. 14 samples (including liver and kidneys) contained 5-9 ìg/kg. A further 26 samples (fish and offal) contained 3-4 ìg/kg and 23 samples (including eggs, processed peas, popcorn and potatoes) contained 1-2 ìg/kg.
  9. Primary food produce such as meat, milk, cereals, vegetable and fish
More information
Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.
Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
Grains, Beans, Legumes