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Food Safety: Chemical Contaminants

Non-microbial contaminants such as pesticide residues, heavy metals, and other toxic substances are presented below. 

On this page, find links to articles, research projects, watch and read USDA presentations, and external resources containing information about chemical contaminants. 

Featured Resources

Chemical Contaminant Research at the USDA Agricultural Research Service

USDA ARS scientists conduct research on  chemical residues and contaminants.

Research Publications (Food Safety): Chemical Contaminants

Research publications on chemical contaminants from peer-reviewed journals.

Research Projects: Pesticide Residues

The Food Safety Research Projects Database (RPD) contains information about research projects related to the study of pesticide residues.

Meet the Experts

USDA-ARS Scientists Present Overviews of their Research

Title: Radio-frequency power for the pasteurization of Salmonella typhimurium in shell eggs (Introductory Video)

Investigator: David Geveke, PhD

Date: 2019

View full length video of Dr. Geveke speaking about radio-frequency power for the pasteurization of Salmonella typhimurium in shell eggs

Title: Assurance of Microbiological Safety of Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Foods (Introductory Video)

Investigator: Vijay Juneja, PhD

Date: 2019

View full length video of Dr. Vijay Juneja speaking about assurance of Microbiological Safety of Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Foods

Title: STEC biofilms within microbial communities in food (Introductory Video)

Investigator: George Paoli, PhD

Date: 2019

View full length video of Dr. George Paoli speaking about STEC biofilms within microbial communities in food

Chemical Contaminant Presentations

Selected Presentations by USDA Scientists at ARS-FSIS Annual Meetings

ARS-FSIS 2019 Food Safety Meeting

ARS-FSIS 2018 Food Safety Meeting

ARS-FSIS 2017 Food Safety Meeting

Selected External Resources on Chemical Contaminants

Acrylamide

A chemical reaction that can form naturally during high-temperature cooking processes in foods including frying, roasting, etc. 

Bisphenol A (BPA)
Dioxins, Furans and PCBs
Mercury

A chemical element that is found in natural concentrations or through pollution in food sources, primarily in seafood.

Pesticide Residues
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)
Radioactive Contamination

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