To ensure food safety and protect consumer health, SFA establishes regulatory limits for substances present in food (namely, food additives and incidental constituents). When establishing food safety regulatory limits, SFA takes reference from the standards (or maximum limits) adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), the international food standards setting body formed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Where international standards are not available, SFA takes reference from the regulations in the major developed countries. In addition to taking reference from relevant standards, SFA will also take into consideration local food consumption patterns and conducts risk assessments before adopting the appropriate regulatory limits for Singapore.
Regulatory limits are stipulated in the Food Regulations. SFA regularly reviews and updates these regulatory limits and new/revised regulatory limits will be gazetted in the Food Regulations. While the legislative amendments and gazette are being worked on by SFA, SFA has in the interim used the powers under the Sale of Food Act so that these new/revised regulatory limits can take effect immediately. This is to avoid unnecessary restrictions on trade while the process of legislative amendments takes place.
Food businesses are required to comply with both the regulatory limits in the Food Regulations as well as the new/revised regulatory limits. These regulatory limits are consolidated below.