Food Contact Materials

Foods come into contact with a variety of materials and objects during their production, processing, storage, preparation and supply and before their final consumption. These materials are called Food Contact Materials (FCM).  Such materials include glass, plastic and paper.

Paper in particular, is the second in use Food Contact material after plastic. Contamination or other adverse health effects that may result from exposure of food to hazardous substances on paper are of great concern.[1].  

Η Director-General of the European Consumer Agency (BEUC European Consumer Organisation), Monique Goyens, stated that consumers mistakenly assume that materials that come in direct contact with their food, are free of harmful substances. The reality is different. In a survey conducted for their safetyFood Contact found that while the materials in question alone could not endanger human health, the accumulation of these materials contributes to the overall exposure of the consumer to potentially harmful chemicals..[2] 

The ingredients of Food Contact materials must not affect the health of consumers and the quality of food[3]. 

The relevant legislation stipulates that the materials that come in contact with food, must be inert and not adversely affect them by contaminating them with substances that are transferred from them to food. 

The European Union and the E.F.E.T. have issued instructions onFood Contact materials. The purpose of these guidelines is to inform and protect consumers, who should pay attention to both the labeling of the products and how they handle them so that they can use them safely. [4].

That is why informed consumers, before buying kitchen paper, should check for the presence of a food contact mark which can be indicated either by the phrase "for food contact" or by the symbol:



[2] The Parliament Magazine - Paper food packaging "not as innocent as it seems", says consumer body - 2019-07-30

[3] Eiropean Union, cs_fcm_legis_pm-guidance_brochure_ella