On August 10, 2016 the industry group American Chemistry Council (ACC) published a guidance document on the use of polyurethanes in food contact applications. “Polyurethanes are used in a variety of food contact applications including, but not limited to, conveyor systems, hoses and tubing, chutes and chute liners, hoppers, gaskets and seals, and adhesives for rigid and flexible food packaging,” the ACC explains. Food contact applications are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more accurately by the Division of Food Contact Notification and Review. The regulations applicable to food, food additives, and food contact materials (FCMs) are described in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR), the ACC explains and lists relevant sections of 21 CFR that may be applicable to both suppliers and converters of polyurethane. Further, “Threshold of Regulation” exemptions may apply – a rule under which “FDA formally exempts food contact substances from the need for pre-market clearance as food additives.” As of the year 2000, Food Contact Notifications (FCNs) have been in place as the primary means for obtaining FDA clearance for FCMs. The list of exemptions under the Threshold of Regulation rule as well as a listing of effective FCNs are available on FDA’s website.
ACC (August 10, 2016). “Guidance for the use of polyurethanes in food contact applications.” (pdf)