Chemicals used in Australian food packaging do not pose a health risk to consumers, shows a new survey conducted by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
The results of the survey crush previous fears that chemicals in packaging might migrate into foods, contaminating them.
Last year, major retailers and manufactures, including Heinz Australia, began a voluntary phase out of packaged food products containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities.
A total of 65 foods and beverages packaged in glass, paper or plastic, were analysed in FSANZ’s latest food survey.
Foods tested ranged from instant coffee and honey, to packaged chicken breast and minced beef.
The concentrations of the following chemicals that might migrate from packaging into food were analysed:
• perfluorinated compounds,
• epoxidised soybean oil (ESBO),
• acrylonitrile and
• vinyl chloride.
Overall, there were no detections of phthalates, semicarbazide, perfluorinated compounds, acrylonitrile or vinyl chloride in any of the foods analysed.
While there were detections of epoxidised soy bean oil (ESBO) in some samples, according to FSANZ, the levels were below international migration limits, including those set by the European Union.
The FSANZ said dietary exposure to ESBO from the contaminated foods does not pose a health and safety risk to consumers.
The survey builds on the 2010 FSANZ survey of BPA.