The natural occurrence of biologically active furanocoumarins in common vegetables is an area of increasing interest with respect to human health. In this study, an efficient, rugged, and sensitive liquid chromatographic method with ultraviolet photodiode array detection was developed for the estimation of 5 biologically active furanocoumarins (psoralen, bergapten, xanthotoxin, trioxsalen, and angelicin) in celery and parsnips. When authentic samples were spiked with a mixture of furanocoumarins at individual levels of 2 to 10 microg/g, the method produced overall recoveries of 77 and 75% of all furanocoumarins from celery and parsnips, respectively. The method was applied in 2 laboratories to a multiyear survey of more than 200 samples. Of 110 parsnips samples, 109 (99%) contained quantitatable levels of furanocoumarins. The mean level of total furanocoumarins in the positive parsnip samples was 15.1 microg/g; the maximum level detected was 145 microg/g. Of 114 celery samples, 88 (77%) contained quantitatable levels of furanocoumarins. The mean level of total furanocoumarins in the positive celery samples was 1.9 microg/g; the maximum level detected was 15.2 microg/g. Xanthotoxin and bergapten were the most commonly detected furanocoumarins in both celery (68 and 63%) and parsnips (97 and 96%). Xanthotoxin had the highest mean level of positives in both celery (1.3 microg/g) and parsnips (8.5 microg/g). Little year-to-year variation in either total furanocoumarin levels or incidence was noted.