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The Swedish Chemicals Agency logo

Withdrawal period for biocidal products in food production

Since the use of certain biocidal products can result in high residue levels of active substances in food or animal feed, the National Food Agency sets, when necessary, withdrawal periods for meat, milk and eggs. That is to say, the time from treatment using the biocidal product to the permitted time of slaughter, milking or similar.

When and how do the authorities determine the length of withdrawal periods?

In the case of authorisation of a pesticide intended to be used on or in the vicinity of, say, horses, the Swedish Chemicals Agency may decide on a withdrawal period. A withdrawal is the period from treatment with a biocidal product to the permitted time of slaughter, milking or similar. A withdrawal period may be set for products such as meat, milk and eggs. In the case of biocidal products which can come into contact with food and animal feed, the National Food Agency assesses whether the risk to human health is acceptable and whether a withdrawal period is needed.

Products requiring primary consideration when setting withdrawal periods are those that are to be used in storage areas for animal feed and foodstuffs, for the treatment of animal feed, food and drinking water, or in the vicinity of or in direct contact with animals that might be involved in food production.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency’s list of set withdrawal periods for biocidal products authorised in Sweden (in Swedish only).

Biocidal products authorised in accordance with EU regulations should, when necessary, have set limits for residues (so-called MRL-values) in different kinds of foods and animal feed.