On June 4, 2015 the Nordic Council of Ministers (Norden) published a guidance document on metals and alloys used in food contact materials (FCMs) for authorities, industry and trade. The guideline is based on the work of the Council of Europe, risk assessments from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and work by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Sources of information also included the plastic food contact material Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 and the foodstuff contaminants Regulation (EC) 1881/2006. The Norden guideline gives a short overview of toxicology, analytical feasibility, legislation, and guideline values for release of metals from FCMs. For the latter, Norden recommends the specific release limits (SRLs in mg/kg) as suggested by the Council of Europe for the metals aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, lithium, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, silver, thallium, tin, titanium, vanadium and zinc. These metals and metalloids are typically used in FCMs or found as impurities, e.g. in alloys used in FCMs. The document is intended to be a useful tool for industry and official food inspectors. To date there is no specific regulation for metals and alloys used in FCMs apart from Regulation (EU) No 1935/2004 which covers general requirements for all types of FCMs.
Cederberg, D. L. et al. (2015). “Food contact materials – metals and alloys. Nordic guidance for authorities, industry and trade.” Nordic Council of Ministers