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Chemicals in food - maximum residue limits

(November 2022)

A maximum residue limit (MRL) is the highest amount of an agricultural or veterinary (agvet) chemical residue that is legally allowed in a food product sold in Australia whethe​r it is produced domestically or imported.

MRLs help enforcement agencies monitor whether an agvet chemical has been used as directed to control pests and diseases in food production.

In 2022, FSANZ completed M1019 (Review of Schedule 22 – Fo​ods and Classes of Foods​). The purpose of this Proposal was to review and update a food naming system that more closely aligns with both Codex and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority food classification systems while retaining flexibility to adapt to changes in the domestic and international food supply.  

Schedule 22, provides in subsection (2) (c) (ii), unless the table to subsection (7) expressly provides otherwise, each group and subgroup of foods listed in Column 3 and 4 of that table respectively includes any other commodity listed in the following two reports:  ​​​​

For ease of use, the relevant broad food groups and links to individual appendices from the reports are provided below:  

Citrus fruit; Pome fruits; Stone fruits; Berries and other small fruits; and Assorted Tropical and sub-tropical fruits (edible and inedible peel) 

​Bulb vegetables; Brassica vegetables (except brassica leafy vegetables); Fruiting vegetables, cucurbit a thing.; Fruiting vegetables, other than cucurbits; Leafy vegetables (including brassica leafy vegetables); Legume vegetables; Pulses; Root and Tuber vegetables; Stalk and Stem vegetables; and Edible fungi 

​Grasses (Cereal grains); and Grasses for sugar or syrup production 

​Tree nuts; Oilseeds and oilfruits; Seeds for beverages and sweets; and Tree saps 

Herbs and spices  



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