You are here:

Plastics recommendations now on the Internet as a database

37/2001, 20.11.2001

Their publication supports speedy information in the interests of food safety

Whether it be coffee filters or coffee cups, beverage bottles, greaseproof paper, non-stick frying pans or cling-film - all materials which come into contact with food are governed by strict guidelines and controls. Responsibility for a large section of these regulations lies with the Federal Institute for Health Protection of Consumers and Veterinary Medicine (BgVV). For more than 40 years recommendations have been elaborated and published here (formerly by the Federal Health Office - BGA) for manufacturers, processors and control authorities. These plastics recommendations, which had been published up to now as a loose-leaf collection, can now be accessed on the BgVV homepage in a regularly updated database (, menu "Databases"). This gives manufacturers and also control authorities more rapid access to up-to-date information than was the case up to now. This step can be seen as an important contribution towards improving food safety.

The plastics recommendations of BgVV are not legal standards. They do, however, reflect the current level of science and technology for the conditions under which articles (commodities) made of high polymer substances, which come into contact with food, meet the statutory requirements. According to them, the migration of substances to foods or their surfaces is banned. The only exceptions are safe ingredients in terms of health effects, aromas and flavours which are technically unavoidable.

1958 saw the introduction of the "Recommendations for the health assessment of plastics and other high polymers". As a consequence of the transposition of EU Directives and amendments to further provisions, the historically moulded loose-leaf collection no longer corresponded in many areas to the current legal situation in Germany. The "plastics recommendations" have been completely revised for the Internet presentation. The references to other legal provisions were updated. Furthermore, as far as possible the listed substances were given their CAS numbers (CAS = Chemical Abstract Service, customary identification for all chemical substances) which means that it is now possible to search for the names of the substances or their CAS numbers. The inclusion of new substances in the recommendations is undertaken on application by the manufacturer or processor to BgVV. Interested companies will find further information on the Institute's homepage.

The database was implemented with the help of the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information, DIMDI. Access via the BgVV homepage is free of charge. The recommendations can be downloaded.


Cookie Notice

This site only uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more on how we use cookies in our Data Protection Declaration.