Food contact materials and articles are regulated by:
Principles for EU legislation
Harmonising legislation on food contact materials at EU level aims to:
- Protect consumers' health;
- Remove technical barriers to trade.
Safety and migration of food contact materials
Food contact materials must not transfer their components into the foods in unacceptable quantities (migration).
Migration limits for plastic materials:
- Overall Migration Limit - 10mg of substances/dm² of the food contact surface for all substances that can migrate from food contact materials to foods;
- Specific Migration Limit (SML) for individual authorised substances fixed on the basis of a toxicological evaluation.
SML is set according to the Acceptable Daily Intake or the Tolerable Daily Intake established by the Scientific Committee on Food.
The limit is set on the assumption that every day throughout lifetime, a person weighing 60kg eats 1kg of food packed in plastics containing the substance in the maximum permitted quantity.
More information on food contact materials research and analysis