Plasticisers in drinking bottles, mineral oils in chocolate, formaldehyde in coffee cups – when it comes to food, consumers are exposed to countless harmful substances and potentially toxic chemicals. During its manufacturing, packaging, storage, preparation and consumption, food comes into contact with various materials, which are called food contact materials.
In theory, components and ingredients of these materials must not migrate into the food in amounts which might endanger human health or which might affect the smell or taste of a food product. In practice, however, unappetising and harmful residues are regularly found in food.
More effective legislation and better food controls are therefore urgently needed to reduce the contamination of food products with harmful substances and to better protect consumers’ health.
The European Commission will present a new legislative framework in 2022. It has to make sure that consumers can rely on the safety of food packaging and dishes.
- clear bans on most harmful substances
- a strict European approval scheme for all food contact materials
- support to consumers so that they can use food contact materials safely
- to keep harmful products away from the market
- to strengthen market surveillance and enforcement of rules