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Food contact materials - metals and alloys

Nordic guidance for authorities, industry and trade

image of Food contact materials - metals and alloys

Metals and alloys are widely applied as food contact materials, e.g. as process equipment in the food industry and as household utensils. Therefore, they are a potential source of food contamination. Migration of substances from food contact materials to food must not occur in amounts that endanger human health. Relevant for food contact materials made from metals and alloys are the migration (release) of metals, both the main components and foreseen impurities.In-house control based on a declaration of compliance, DoC, and supporting documentation at the producers and importers are important prerequisites to limit this contamination and to ensure compliance with the legislation. This is considered a general part of quality assurance, even though the European legislation does not specifically require a DoC for metals and alloys used as food contact materials.This Nordic guideline gives a short overview of toxicology, analytical feasibility, legislation and guideline values for release of metals from food contact materials. Therefore, the guideline will be a useful tool for industry and official food inspectors.

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Introduction

The control and documentation of compliance, trade and production of FCMs in the Nordic countries is based on the general requirements in EU regulation 1935/2004 and 2023/2006. One main requirement in regulation 1935/2004 is that FCMs must not release constituents in amounts that can endager human health. To fulfill this requirement a risk assessment of chemical release from FCM to food is needed. However, this can be difficult to perform. Especially for materials which have no detailed regulation, as for metal and alloys. This report is meant to serve as a guidance document to support compliance work in trade and industry, but also as a tool for the official food inspection with regard to FCM composed of metals and alloys.

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