Regulatory News

California Proposition 65 Warning for Acrylamide in Food

Jan. 18 2023

According to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), Acrylamide is a chemical that is formed in certain plant-based foods during cooking or processing at high temperatures, such as frying, roasting, grilling, and baking.  High temperatures during cooking convert sugars and other substances in some foods to acrylamide.  A few of the known types of foods that may contain acrylamide include fried and baked snack foods, breakfast cereals, crackers, cookies, bread crusts, and toast. 

OEHHA has recently amended Title 27, California Code of Regulations regarding the wording for exposures to acrylamide in food warning, by adding an additional non-mandatory, safe harbor warning option for businesses which may cause exposures to acrylamide in foods.

Existing Safe Harbor Warning Details: 

(a) A warning for food exposures, including dietary supplements, meets the requirements of this subarticle if it is provided via one or more of the methods specified in Section 25607.1 and includes all the following elements: 

(1) The word “WARNING:” in all capital letters and bold print. 

(2) For exposure to a listed carcinogen, the words, “Consuming this product can expose you to chemicals including [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food.” 

(3) For exposure to a listed reproductive toxicant, the words, “Consuming this product can expose you to chemicals including [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food.” 

(4) For exposure to both listed carcinogens and reproductive toxicants, the words, “Consuming this product can expose you to chemicals including [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer and [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food.” 

(5) For exposure to a chemical that is listed as both a 
carcinogen and a reproductive toxicant, the words, “Consuming this product can expose you to chemicals including [name of one or more chemicals], which is [are] known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.  For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/food.” 

(6) Where a warning is being provided for an exposure to a single chemical the words “chemicals including” may be deleted from the warning content set out in subsections (2), (3) and (5). 

The new additional safe harbor non-mandatory, safe harbor warning option: 

(1) The words “CALIFORNIA WARNING:” in all capital letters and bold print, and 

(2) The words, “Consuming this product can expose you to acrylamide, a probable human carcinogen formed in some foods during cooking or processing at high temperatures. Many factors affect your cancer risk, including the frequency and amount of the chemical consumed. For more information including ways to reduce your exposure, see www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/acrylamide.” 

The warning option became be effective on January 1, 2023. 

For additional information: https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/crnr/safe-harbor-warning-regulation-exposures-acrylamide-food 

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