At the end of April 2002, the Swedish Food Administration reported the presence of acrylamide in heat treated food products. Acrylamide has been shown to be toxic and carcinogenic in animals, and has been classified by the WHO/IARC among others as 'probably carcinogenic for humans'. The purposes of this study were firstly to analyse acrylamide contents of the most important foods contributing to such exposure, secondly, to estimate the acrylamide exposure in a representative sample of the Dutch population, and thirdly to estimate the public health risks of this consumption. We analysed the acrylamide content of foods with an LC-MS-MS method. The results were then used to estimate the acrylamide exposure of consumers who participated in the National Food Consumption Survey (NFCS) in 1998 (n=6250). The exposure was estimated using the probabilistic approach for the total Dutch population and several age groups. For 344 food products, acrylamide amounts ranged from <30 to 3100 microg/kg. Foods with the highest mean acrylamide amounts were potato crisps (1249 microg/kg), chips (deep-fried) (351 microg/kg), cocktail snacks (1060 microg/kg), and gingerbread (890 microg/kg). The mean acrylamide exposure of the NFCS participants was 0.48 microg/kg bw/day. Risk of neurotoxicity is negligible. From exposure estimations it appears that the additional cancer risk might not be negligible.