Germany: nickel in the toy, bacteria in the raw milk
Many metal toys contain high levels of nickel and can cause allergies, state product inspectors criticize in their annual report. They also encountered problems with meat and milk.
Food Safety BVL:
High Value of Nickel in toys:
According to authorities, the decisive factor is not the total concentration contained in the toy, but the amount of nickel that is released during the game – for example, by touching with wet hands. The current values are “clearly too high,” complained Fricke. Manufacturers and importers have not fulfilled their obligations in recent years. As far back as 2012, the Federal Office had determined a similarly high proportion of limit value violations when testing toys.
German Association of the Toy Industry (DVSI):
The German Association of the Toy Industry (DVSI) stated that the nickel limits refer to items that have a long-lasting skin contact. “Toys are not stud earrings and glasses,” said DVSI CEO Ulrich Brobeil. If nickel is present in the axis of a model car, there is usually only a short skin contact. Nevertheless, some manufacturers would now completely abandon nickel. “Toy safety is our top priority.”
Food: Most common problems with meat and milk
In principle, however, foodstuffs and consumer goods in Germany are very safe according to the assessment authority. The proportion of samples that had to be complained fell from 14.8% in 2007 to 12.1%. In more than half of the cases, the examiners complained only of infringements of labeling and presentation requirements. They only found microbiological contaminants in just under 16 percent of the samples complained about.
However, in addition to the metal toys in the current annual report, the auditors list several foods that were more likely to cause health problems:
- Chicken meat : In the past, salmonella was the most common bacterial pathogen for diarrheal diseases in Germany and has since been replaced by Campylobacter germs . The pathogen was detected in 77% of the broilers examined last year, and in every fourth case the concentration was above the new EU limit. However, this upper limit must only be adhered to from next year.
- Liver : Also with the consumption of liver the BVL advises caution – especially during a pregnancy. Especially in lamb and sheep livers increased concentrations of environmental toxins such as dioxin were found. Another concern is the high vitamin A level. Chronic vitamin A over-supply can lead to liver damage and malformations of the embryo over a longer period of time. Even a thick liverwurst bread covers a large part of the daily requirement.
- Milk : Raw milk dispensers at the farmer are becoming increasingly popular, but are not safe. Almost one in five milk samples tested showed a high level of microbial contamination. In addition, the investigators found pathogens such as E. coli and Listeria. Therefore, the BVL advises urgently to cook raw milk before consumption.
One of the most important measures is to cut raw meat and salad and vegetables on different boards, to exchange them as well as sponges and cloths regularly, especially to plow through poultry well and to wash their hands regularly with warm water and soap when working in the kitchen.