Ensuring that what we eat is safe does not stop at testing the food itself. Everything that comes in contact with food as it is produced, packaged, transported, stored, prepared and consumed also needs to be safe.
Materials such as plastics, paper and board, metals, ceramics are commonly used for the manufacturing of food packaging, but also kitchenware and cutlery and food processing equipments. The safety of such materials relies on insuring that during contact there is no migration of unsafe levels of chemical substances from the material to the food.
The European Reference Laboratory for Food Contact Materials (EURL-FCM) provides scientific and technical assistance to the EU and the Member States. It organises inter-laboratory comparison exercises and conducts training courses for the benefit of National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) and of experts from developing countries. It is supported by a Network of National Reference Laboratories.