Food safety remains a priority for industry

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food contact, European union

Meeting and contributing to increased EU measures on food safety
remains a priority for the industry, according to policies outlined
by the bloc's industry association.

The policies on such subjects as food contact materials and acralymide are outlined in the annual report of the Confederation of Food and Drink Industries (CIAA). The report outlines the priorities for the bloc's food industry in lobbying EU legislators over the coming months. Increased regulation on food safety, and consumer concern has put the issue firmly on top of the industry's priorities. One area of concern is food contact materials, such as the packaging and inks that could potentially contaminate the foods within. The CIAA is currently involved in several joint industry groups in the packaging supply chain, to minimise the risk of chemical migration, according to the annual report. The policy and proceedures are being developed with packaging suppliers to meet new EU requirements. The groups include those dealing with metal closures, packaging inks, coatings, and the plastics supply chain. The CIAA said it is cooperating with producers to develop a procedure that ensures food operators get sufficient information about the qualitative composition used for plastic packaging. The CIAA is also working with the Light Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (SEFEL) to address different issues regarding closures technology. It is also developing and implementing new technologies for plasticisers in metal caps. "CIAA will continue its dialogue with the plastics industry to agree on best practice to ensure that food operators are informed about the qualitative composition and migration behaviour of packaging material,"​ the association stated. A "Packaging Inks Joint Industry Task Force" was created in early 2006. Its aim is to become a reference group, providing a source of expertise along the supply chain for gaining knowledge, assessing and controlling the risks of contamination of the food contact surface from the use of packaging inks, the CIAA reported. The policies and procedures are being developed in response to an amendment to the Plastics Directive, requiring processors to know about the levels of packaging substances that may migrate into foods. A draft regulation is in the works that would apply restrictions to closures. The regulation addresses the legal situation for PVC gaskets in lids intended for food contact applications, and the restrictions applicable to the use of phthalates for food contact applications. The measures applying to PVC gaskets in lids were transferred into the amendment to the Plastics Directive at the end of 2006. A draft regulation is also in the works on active and intelligent packaging. The directive relates to materials and articles that are intended to extend shelf-life, and to maintain, improve, or monitor the condition of packaged food. A draft regulation on recycled plastic materials and articles, aims to harmonise existing national legislation relating to the use of recycled plastic materials in food contact applications, and to establish common rules across the EU to ensure their safety. Another draft regulation would establish good manufacturing practices for food contact materials.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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