Introduction: Studies of anabolic hormone residues in the tissues of slaughter animals have been carried out in Poland for more than 25 years. During the period of 2011 to 2015, a total of 35 387 samples from different animal species were tested in the National Residue Control Programme for the presence of residues of compounds that cause hormonal effects, as listed in Annex 1 of Directive 96/23/EC.
Material and Methods: The research was conducted in the National Reference Laboratory and eight regional laboratories in departments of veterinary hygiene located throughout the country. Urine, muscle tissue, serum, kidney fat, and drinking water were the targeted matrices. Test methods based on instrumental techniques such as gas and liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry were applied, as well as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA).
Results: The concentration of detected hormones exceeded the decision limits in 30 samples, the consequence of which was 41 non-compliances with current applicable criteria. The hormones found present pseudo-endogenous (nortestosterone and boldenone) only, while synthetic hormones were not identified.
Conclusion: The non-compliant findings constitute a small percentage (0.085%) of the five-year analysis compilation. On this basis the related food produced in Poland can be accepted as safe for human consumption with regard to the hormone residues tested.
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