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Food Contact Materials

Since 2009, priority has been given to the work on metals and alloys that are used in food contact materials and also in the manufacture of articles in contact with food.

In June 2013, Council of Europe member states adopted Resolution CM/Res(2013)9 on metals and alloys used in food contact materials and articles. A  Technical Guide is now available that presents this Resolution and practical guidelines for its implementation. The guidelines have been agreed amongst national authorities, manufacturers and control laboratories (private and public sector)  and define quality requirements for materials such as aluminium foil, kitchen utensils, coffee machines etc., for which no specific EU regulations exist. The text recommends the implementation of Specific Release Limits (SRL) in Council of Europe members states for metal ions that are released from materials in contact with foodstuffs.

For example, nickel release should not exceed 0.14 mg/kg and lead should not be released in amounts greater than 0.010 mg/kg (as ion concentrations measured in food). Detailed instructions on how to perform laboratory testing are described.

Furthermore, the Committee of Experts P-SC-EMB has begun a review of the existing resolutions and technical documents that were elaborated under the former Council of Europe Partial Agreement in Social and Public Health Field (dissolved on 31 December 2008). Paper and board, cork, printed food-contact materials, coatings, and elastomers such as silicones and rubber, are amongst materials for which the Council of Europe has already established substance inventories.

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