Contaminants and food contact materials: Guidance for businesses

meat packaged in shop
The FSA is responsible for ensuring the public is protected against chemicals that might transfer onto food from materials they come into contact with, for example packaging and utensils. It carries out research and surveillance and uses the result of this to help enforce controls.

The rules

Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 sets out the law on chemical migration from all materials and articles in contact with food. It includes provisions for materials and articles expected to come into contact with foods or to transfer their constituents to food (such as printing inks and adhesive labels). However, this does not include covering or coating substances that are part of the food and that may be eaten with it, such as sausage skin.

These general laws are supplemented by specific laws governing particular materials, such as food contact plastics (Regulation 10/2011) 'active and intelligent' food contact materials (Regulation 450/2009).


If you have any questions please contact the Food Contact Materials Unit on 020 7276 8570 or by email:


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