ARCHIVED - List of Contaminants and other Adulterating Substances in Foods 2022-08-16

Notice to Reader

This is an archived list. Please refer to the most current version of this list.

Date Issued: 2022-07-20

List of Contaminants and other Adulterating Substances in Foods

The List of contaminants and other adulterating substances in foods is a two-part list setting out the conditions under which certain foods are adulterated. Part 1 of the List sets out prohibitions for certain substances listed in column 1, which stipulate that no amount is considered acceptable in the corresponding food(s) listed in column 2. Part 2 of the List comprises Maximum Levels (MLs) for various substances in certain foods. A food listed in column 2 of Part 2 is adulterated if the corresponding substance identified in column 1 is present in or on the food in an amount that exceeds the ML set out in column 3. The MLs in column 3 of Part 2 of the List apply only to the food(s) as described in column 2 of Part 2. If any food described in column 2, Part 2 of the List is also sold in a dried, concentrated or diluted form, but MLs have not been established for these alternative forms of the food listed in column 2, then any findings of elevated contaminant concentrations in these alternative forms will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

This List is incorporated by reference into Division 15 of the Food and Drug Regulations. Additional MLs for other contaminants in foods are available in the List of Maximum Levels for Various Chemical Contaminants in Foods.

To help ensure that Canadians are not exposed to levels of chemical contaminants in their diet that may pose a health concern, as new scientific information becomes available, Part 1 and/or Part 2 of the List shown below may be modified by Health Canada's Bureau of Chemical Safety, Food Directorate. Changes to the List are made following consultation with other federal government partners, as applicable, such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and with relevant stakeholders and the public. Notification of any proposed changes to the List will be provided via a Notice of Proposal (NOP) and parallel World Trade Organization (WTO) notification. Changes to the List are announced via a Notice of Modification accompanied by a WTO notification.

This List is the most current version and was published on July 20, 2022.

List of contaminants and other adulterating substances in foods

Part 1
Item No. Column 1
Column 2
1 Mineral oil All foods, except foods requiring the use of mineral oil as part of good manufacturing practiceFootnote 1
2 Paraffin wax All foods, except chewing gum with a paraffin wax base
3 Petrolatum All foods
4 Coumarin, an extract of tonka beans, the seed of Dipteryx odorata Willd. or Dipteryx oppositifolia Willd. All foods
5 Fatty acids and their salts containing chick-edema factor or other toxic factors All foods
6 Dihydrosafrole All foods
7 Isosafrole All foods
8 Oil of American sassafras from Sassafras albidum (Nutt). Nees All foods
9 Oil of Brazilian sassafras from Ocotea cymbarum H.B.K. All foods
10 Oil of camphor sassafrassy from Cinnamomum camphorum Sieb. All foods
11 Oil of micranthum from Cinnamomum micranthum Hayata All foods
12 Safrole All foods
13 Oil, extract or root of calamus from Acorus calamus L. All foods
14 Ethylene thiourea All foods, except fruits, vegetables and cerealsFootnote 1
15 Chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, except 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzoparadioxin All foods
16 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzoparadioxin All foods, except fishFootnote 1
17 Cinnamyl anthranilate All foods
18 Partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), meaning a fat or oil that is hydrogenated and has an iodine valueFootnote 2 of greater than 4 All foods
Part 2
Item No. Column 1
Column 2
FoodFootnote 1
Column 3
Maximum level
1.1 Arsenic, total (1) Fish protein (1) 3.5 p.p.m. (parts per million)
(2) Edible bone meal (2) 1 p.p.m.
(3) Beverages; Fruit juice; Fruit nectar (3) 0.1 p.p.m. applied to products as consumed
(4) Water in sealed containers (4) 0.01 p.p.m.
1.2 Arsenic, inorganic (sum of arsenite (As III) and arsenate (As V)) (1) Husked (brown) rice (1) 0.35 p.p.m.
(2) Polished (white) rice (2) 0.2 p.p.m.
2 Fluoride (1) Edible bone meal (1) 650 p.p.m.
(2) Fish protein (2) 150 p.p.m.
3 Lead (1) Edible bone meal (1) 10 p.p.m.
(2) Tomato paste; Tomato sauce (2) 1.5 p.p.m.
(3) Fish protein; Whole tomatoes (3) 0.5 p.p.m.
(4) Beverages (4) 0.2 p.p.m. applied to products as consumed
(5) Evaporated milk; Condensed milk (5) 0.15 p.p.m.
(6) Infant formula (6) 0.01 p.p.m. applied to products as consumed
(7) Fruit juice; Fruit nectar (7) 0.05 p.p.m. applied to products as consumed
(8) Water in sealed containers (8) 0.01 p.p.m.
4 Tin Canned foods 250 p.p.m.
5 Free gossypol Cottonseed flour 450 p.p.m.
6 Aflatoxin Nut; Nut products 15 p.p.b. (parts per billion) calculated on the basis of the nut meat portion.
7 Ethylene thiourea Fruits; Vegetables; Cereals 0.05 p.p.m.
8 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzoparadioxin Fish 20 p.p.t. (parts per trillion)
9 Mineral oil Food requiring the use of mineral oil as part of good manufacturing practice 0.3%
10 Patulin Apple juice; Unfermented apple cider 50 p.p.b. applied to products as consumed
11 Glycoalkaloids, total (sum of alpha-solanine and alpha-chaconine) Potato tubers 200 p.p.m.
12 Total extractable cyanide Apricot kernels sold for human consumption 20 p.p.m.

Table 2 Footnotes

Table 2 Footnote 1

Maximum levels also apply to the food when it is used as an ingredient in other foods.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Document Reference Numbers: NOM/ADM C-2022-1; NOM/ADM C-2020-2; NOM/ADM C-2020-1; NOM/ADM C-2019-1; NOM/ADM C-2018-1; NOM/ADM C-2018-2; NOM/ADM C-2017-3; NOM/ADM C-2017-2; NOM/ADM C-2017-1

Page details

Date modified: