On July 20, 2018, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a Technical report on the “use of cut-off values on the limits of quantification reported in datasets used to estimate dietary exposure to chemical contaminants.”
This report focuses on the so-called “left-censored data, i.e. non-quantified/non-detected data” found among the “analytical data on the presence of chemical contaminants in food and feed used in dietary exposure assessments in EFSA scientific outputs.” EFSA states that “the presence of left-censored data together with a wide range of detection and/or quantification limits is often an important source of uncertainty associated with dietary exposure estimates.”
Therefore, EFSA proposes “a step-wide approach to select the most appropriate cut-off values” in order “to minimize the influence of left-censored data on the uncertainty associated with dietary exposure estimates.” The selection of the cut-off values should be based on “1) legal requirements; 2) typical expanded uncertainty levels; or 3) distributions of the quantified values and reported limits of quantification,” EFSA suggests.
EFSA (July 20, 2018). “Use of cut-off values on the limits of quantification reported in datasets used to estimate dietary exposure to chemical contaminants.” EFSA Supporting Publications 15(7):1452E