Standard 1.4.1 Contaminants and natural toxicants

Note 1 This instrument is a standard under the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (Cth). The standards together make up the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. See also section 1.1.1—3.

Note 2 The provisions of the Code that apply in New Zealand are incorporated in, or adopted under, the Food Act 2014 (NZ). See also section 1.1.1—3.

Note 3 Subsection 1.1.1—10(6) provides that a food for sale must comply with any provisions of this Code relating to the composition of, or the presence of specified substances in, food of that kind. This Standard contains provisions relating to the presence of other substances in food.

Note 4 Limits have been set under this Standard when it has been determined that there is a potential risk to public health and safety if the prescribed limits are exceeded, that should be managed by a standard. This Standard is to be read in the context of the requirements imposed in the application Acts that food must be safe and suitable for human consumption. For example, the concentration of contaminants and natural toxicants should be kept as low as reasonably achievable.

1.4.1—1 Name

  This Standard is Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code Standard 1.4.1 Contaminants and natural toxicants.

 Note Commencement:
This Standard commences on 1 March 2016, being the date specified as the commencement date in notices in the Gazette and the New Zealand Gazette under section 92 of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (Cth). See also section 93 of that Act.

1.4.1—2 Interpretation

 (1) The limits prescribed by this Standard apply to the portion of foods that is ordinarily consumed.

 (2) In this Standard and Schedule 19, a reference to a particular food is to the food as described in Schedule 22.

1.4.1—3 Levels of contaminants and natural toxicants in food

 (1) The level of a contaminant or natural toxicant listed in section S19—4, S19—5 or S19—6 in a food listed in relation to that contaminant or toxicant must not be greater than the corresponding amount listed in that Schedule.

 Note Schedule 19 sets out maximum levels of:

  metal contaminants;

  non-metal contaminants;

  natural toxicants; and

  average and maximum levels of mercury in fish.

 (2) The level of mercury in fish and fish products, calculated in accordance with section S19—7, must comply with the requirements of subsection S19—7(1) or S19—7(2), as appropriate.

 (3) For a food for sale with 2 or more ingredients, 1 or more of which is listed in Schedule 19, the level of a contaminant or toxicant listed in Schedule 19 in the food for sale must not be greater than the amount, ML, given by the following equation:

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N is the number of ingredients of the food for sale for which a maximum level of a contaminant or toxicant is specified in Schedule 19.

MLj is:

 (a) in the case of mercury—the mean level of mercury that is permitted under section S19—7; or

 (b) otherwisethe maximum level of the contaminant or toxicant that is permitted, in accordance with subsection (1);

in a particular ingredient (the jth ingredient) of the food for sale.

Totalj is the total weight of the jth ingredient of the food for sale (in g).

CF is:

 (a) in the case of lead0.01 mg/kg; and

 (b) in the case of cadmium0.005 mg/kg; and

 (c) for other substances0 mg/kg.

 Note  CF is the background calculation factor, and allows for a representative contaminant level for those foods for which a maximum level is not specified in Schedule 19. The contaminants occur at low levels in such foods.

Total is the total weight of the food for sale (in g).

1.4.1—4 Exception relating to honey and comb honey

 (1) Section 1.1.1—9 does not apply to honey and comb honey for the purposes of section 1.4.1—3.

 (2) Despite section 1.4.1—3, honey and comb honey that was packaged for retail sale before the commencement of the Food Standards (Proposal P1029 – Maximum Level for Tutin in Honey) Variation is taken to comply with the level of Tutin listed in the table to section S19—6 if the product otherwise complied with the Code before that variation commenced.


Amendment History

The Amendment History provides information about each amendment to the Standard. The information includes commencement or cessation information for relevant amendments.


These amendments are made under section 92 of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 unless otherwise indicated. Amendments do not have a specific date for cessation unless indicated as such.


About this compilation


This is a compilation of Standard 1.4.1 as in force on 1 March 2016 (up to Amendment No. 161). It includes any commenced amendment affecting the compilation to that date.


Prepared by Food Standards Australia New Zealand on 1 March 2016.


Uncommenced amendments or provisions ceasing to have effect


To assist stakeholders, the effect of any uncommenced amendments or provisions which will cease to have effect, may be reflected in the Standard as shaded boxed text with the relevant commencement or cessation date. These amendments will be reflected in a compilation registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments including or omitting those amendments and provided in the Amendment History once the date is passed.



The following abbreviations may be used in the table below:


ad = added or inserted am = amended

exp = expired or ceased to have effect rep = repealed

rs = repealed and substituted


Standard 1.4.1 was published in the Food Standards Gazette No. FSC96 on 10 April 2015 as part of Amendment 154 (F2015L00408 –- 31 March 2015) and has since been amended as follows:


Section affected

A’ment No.

FRLI registration




How affected

Description of amendment




18 Feb 2016


22 Feb 2016


1 March 2016



Correction of typographical error in formula.




1 Sept 2015


3 Sept 2015


1 March 2016



New section relating to tutin in honey previously included in the Code as part of P1029.