Testing for contaminants in food and food packaging

About testing for contaminants in food and food packaging

Consumers are increasingly concerned about the chemicals in their food. Harmful chemicals can enter our food by migration from environmental contamination and from food contact materials, which include final food packaging, supply chain packaging materials and food handling equipment.

EDF has identified a top-ten list of chemicals of concern in food packaging and food handling equipment where the potential health impacts from their migration into food raises serious concerns. When companies work to prevent these chemicals from contaminating their food, they can improve consumer trust and minimize the impact of future chemical regulations on their bottom line. Testing your products and packaging for these chemicals is one way to identify where issues may exist in your portfolio and to ensure your progress towards a commitment to safer food.

EDF Supply Chain Solutions Center

EDF’s recommendations for testing for key contaminants in food and food packaging

PFAS

Periodically test food ingredients that are potentially contaminated with PFAS using FDA’s approved method, and investigate possible sources whenever measurable PFAS is found.

Systematically screen fiber products intended to contact food using a total fluorine method, and investigate levels over 100 parts per million (ppm) that indicate likely intentional use.

 

Phthalates

Systematically test gloves, films, liners, and other expendable materials that may contact foods for ortho-phthalates (o-phthalates) using a CPSC-accepted, third-party certified lab using CPSC’s approved method and investigate levels over 100 parts per million (ppm) that indicate likely intentional use.

 

Heavy Metals

Systematically test food products and ingredients that are potentially contaminated with arsenic, cadmium or lead using FDA’s approved method and investigate possible sources where measurable levels are found. In the instances where FDA has set a tolerance, investigate when levels are above one-tenth of the tolerance.

Periodically test all packaging that contacts food anywhere along the supply chain for arsenic, cadmium, or lead using a CPSC-accepted, third-party certified lab that evaluates children’s products for lead using CPSC-approved methods Investigate any measured levels over 10 parts per million (ppm) for any one of the heavy metals.

 

Perchlorate

Companies should strategically test food and food ingredients that are potentially contaminated with perchlorate using a method used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that is capable of measuring at 3 part per billion (ppb) level. Companies should investigate possible sources where any perchlorate is found.

 

The “Learn more” links provide additional details about products and materials to prioritize for testing as well as testing methodologies.

It’s time to pursue testing as a solution to ensuring toxic chemicals aren’t in your food and food packaging.

EDF Supply Chain Solutions Center

Learn how to use the site

Watch Tutorial

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras fermentum ultrices varius. Vivamus cursus turpis sed finibus ultricies. Nullam id mauris accumsan tellus facilisis eleifend. Vivamus sed lorem sit amet nisi gravida maximus. Suspendisse consequat auctor lacus et laoreet. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Praesent ultricies elit sagittis felis lobortis, nec aliquam arcu gravida.