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Health assessment of food contact materials

PET bottles, cardboard packaging or aluminium foils - BfR informs about possible risks of materials and in particular their ingredients which come into contact with food. Special recommendations for the manufacturers of packaging materials are included in a dedicated database.

Packaging materials can contain substances which can result in health risks if they are released and absorbed by consumers through foods.

BfR has published and compiled a series of opinions and reports on such materials.

Examples include

Further opinions are listed under the heading "Opinion" at the bottom of this page.

Basic requirements

In accordance with the applicable statutory framework provisions, food contact materials may not release any substances in normal or foreseeable uses which,

  • Constitute a health risk to consumers,
  • Lead to an unacceptable change in the composition of the food or
  • Impair foods in terms of odour, taste, texture or appearance (so called organoleptic properties).

Specific legally binding provisions currently exist, for instance, for plastics.

BfR-Recommendations

In a free-of-charge database BfR publishes recommendations for the production of materials which are not subject to any statutory provisions: "Database BfR Recommendations on Food Contact Materials".

Manufacturers can submit an application to BfR for the inclusion of certain substances into the recommendations. More detailed information, references to the current legal situation and contacts on this topic can be found on an info page.

Apart from recommendations on the use of certain substances, the database also includes information on test methods, for instance for materials which are used in the production of paper, carton and cardboard. With these methods, manufacturers can check whether the materials used by them qualify for food contact.

Legal bases

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Information

 (4 documents)
Date Title Größe
01.10.2010
BfR Information Nr. 003/2011
New Scientific Opinion by the European Food Safety Authority: Bisphenol A in food contact material 28.8 KB
PDF-File
26.10.2009
BfR Information No. 037/2009
Bisphenol A in dummies 32.4 KB
PDF-File
18.03.2009
BfR Information No. 006/2009 concerning a study by the University Frankfurt am Main
Substances with hormone-like activity in mineral water from PET bottles 67.7 KB
PDF-File
19.09.2008
BfR Information No. 036/2008
New studies on bisphenol A do not challenge earlier risk assessment 27.0 KB
PDF-File

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Opinion

 (22 documents)
Date Title Größe
29.05.2017
BfR Opinion No 007/2017
Uncoated aluminium menu trays: First research results show high release of aluminium ions 67.5 KB
PDF-File
10.08.2016
BfR Opinion No. 023/2016
Levels of styrene oligomers measured in food simulants show that health risks are unlikely 30.7 KB
PDF-File
15.04.2016
BfR opinion 022/2016
Epoxide resin coatings of cans: substance transfer to oil-containing foods possible 23.7 KB
PDF-File
24.07.2013
BfR Opinion Nr. 021/2014
Primary aromatic amines from printed food contact materials such as napkins or bakery bags 86.6 KB
PDF-File
12.02.2013
BfR Opinion No. 005/2013
BfR removes anthraquinone from its list of recommendations for food packaging 70.7 KB
PDF-File
02.08.2011
Updated BfR Opinion No. 034/2011
Organotin compounds in consumer Products 33.6 KB
PDF-File
09.03.2011
Opinion No. 012/2011 of BfR
Release of melamine and formaldehyde from dishes and kitchen utensils 61.6 KB
PDF-File
02.02.2011
BfR Opinion Nr. 007/2011
BfR assesses analyses of substances with hormone-like activity in natural mineral waters 28.1 KB
PDF-File
29.07.2010
BfR Opinion Nr. 035/2010
Bisphenol A: Studies by Stump et al. (2010) and Ryan et al. (2010) provide no indications for adverse effects on neurological development and behaviour 281.7 KB
PDF-File
09.12.2009
BfR Opinion No. 008/2010
Migration of mineral oil from packaging materials to foodstuffs 27.3 KB
PDF-File
18.08.2009
BfR Opinion No. 038/2009
Limit values for phenol in food-contact articles and toys are to be updated 79.7 KB
PDF-File
12.06.2009
BfR Opinion No. 031/2009
BfR supports ban on triclosan in food contact materials 27.5 KB
PDF-File
03.07.2008
BfR Opinion No. 001/2009
The data situation for the assessment of the use of nanotechnology in food and food-contact articles is still not satisfactory 30.3 KB
PDF-File
18.06.2008
BfR Health Assessment No. 034/2008
Aluminium in apple juice: no storing of fruit juice in aluminium tanks 30.8 KB
PDF-File
02.04.2008
BfR Opinion No. 028/2008
Replacement of isopropyl thioxanthone (ITX) in printing inks by non-assessed substances is not appropriate 28.9 KB
PDF-File
25.03.2008
BfR Opinion No. 008/2009
BfR assesses research results of samples of mineral water with hormone-like effects 30.0 KB
PDF-File
22.07.2007
Updated BfR Health Assesment No. 033/2007
No risk of Alzheimer's disease from aluminium in consumer products 61.8 KB
PDF-File
27.09.2006
BfR Expert Opinion No. 001/2007
Allergies caused by consumer products and foods 344.8 KB
PDF-File
25.11.2005
BfR Expert Opinion No. 044/2005
Constituents of printing inks in beverages from cartons 35.9 KB
PDF-File
07.06.2005
Updated Expert Opinion No. 023/2005 of BfR
Lead and Cadmium from Ceramics 86.2 KB
PDF-File
20.07.2004
BfR Opinion
2-Ethylhexanoic acid in baby food and fruit juices packed in glass containers 67.0 KB
PDF-File
15.10.2003
Supplementary opinion of BfR
Semicarbazide in foods 17.0 KB
PDF-File

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Communication

 (3 documents)
Date Title Größe
09.11.2015
BfR communication No. 041/2015
Release of metals from coffee machines and electric kettles 22.9 KB
PDF-File
19.02.2015
BfR communication No. 005/2015
No health risk for consumers from Bisphenol A exposure - the BfR endorses the conclusion of the new EFSA assessment 45.2 KB
PDF-File
01.07.2014
BfR communication No 024/2014
BfR advises against beer can chicken 31.8 KB
PDF-File

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Miscellaneous

 (2 documents)
Date Title Größe
05.07.2007
Minutes of the meeting of the working group "Paper and board" at BfR
Di-isobutylphthalate in food-contact paper and board 135.8 KB
PDF-File
01.10.2000
Stand
Use of mechanically recycled plastic made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for the manufacture of articles coming into contact with food 32.9 KB
PDF-File

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External links

 (2 documents)
Link
European Food Safety Authority - EFSA
Note for Guidance

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