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In recent years, the presence of microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) has been assessed in several environmental matrices, including the marine environment and agricultural soil, suggesting those pollutants are likely to enter the food web. However, there is still a severe lack of information about the occurrence of plastic particles in our food, partially due to the multidimensionality of the data necessary to fully describe MP contamination and the consequent difficulty in validating analytical methods. In this review, consisting of two parts, preliminary results about the presence of MPs in food, water, and beverages are summarized (Part I) and several approaches for the characterization of micro- and nano-sized plastic particles are reported and discussed (Part II). The information gathered in this manuscript highlights the need for a more comprehensive knowledge of MP/NP occurrence along the food chain in order to assess the food safety risk related to those contaminants and implement strategies for their monitoring in products intended for human consumption. Therefore, an outlook of the field towards a coherent, consistent, and policy-relevant data collection and standardization is included in this review.
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