In an article published on July 8, 2020, the product ingredients app Code Check discusses avoiding harmful chemicals that can be present in food packaging. In an interview with Code Check, Jane Muncke from the Food Packaging Forum explained that over 11,000 different chemicals can be used in the manufacture of food packaging and other food contact articles, and many additional chemicals can be formed as reaction or degradation by-products (known as non-intentionally added substances or NIAS).

The article provides an introduction and background to some of the most widely discussed hazardous chemicals that can be present in food packaging including bisphenol A (BPA; CAS 80-05-7), phthalates, and mineral oil hydrocarbons. It also highlights the challenge of using recycled materials which could potentially have increased levels of hazardous substances. Code Check further presents a set of tips for reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals in food packaging, including:

  • Buying food fresh from the market and in unpacked shops
  • Preferring unpacked fruit and vegetables
  • Avoiding heating food in plastic packaging
  • Filling rice, flour, and sugar into glass containers for storing at home
  • Abstaining from fast food and convenience food as much as possible
  • Avoiding fatty and oily foods wrapped in printed paper or plastic

The Food Packaging Forum has also published its own factsheet on how to minimize the migration of chemicals from food packaging.

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Franziska Grammes (July 8, 2020). “Wie Du Schadstoffe in Lebensmitteln vermeiden kannst.” CodeCheck (in German)