Tag Archives: Food Contact Surfaces

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PFAS Used in Grease-Proofing Agents for Food Packaging No Longer Being Sold in the U.S.

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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Food packaging is now safer for consumers thanks to the elimination of one of the key dietary sources of Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) exposure. On February 28, the FDA announced that grease-proofing substances containing PFAS are no longer being sold by manufacturers for food contact use in the U.S. market following the completion of the voluntary market phase-out of these substances used on food packaging paper and paperboard. These substances represent the primary source of dietary exposure to PFAS from authorized food contact uses.

In 2020, the FDA obtained commitments from manufacturers to cease sales of food contact products containing certain grease-proofing substances that contain certain types of PFAS. In addition, the FDA has confirmed that other manufacturers have voluntarily stopped sales of other food contact substances (which contain different types of PFAS) intended for use as grease-proofing agents in the U.S.

The grease-proofing substances, used to prevent the leaking of grease and oil and for their water-resistant properties, were applied to fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, take-out paperboard containers, pet food bags, as well as other similar types of packaging.

While the original commitment letters received by the FDA from the manufacturers stated that the phase out could take 18 months to exhaust the market supply from the last date of sale, most of the companies exited the market prior to their original phase-out date. In addition, the FDA is working towards a validated analytical method that would allow the agency to monitor the market for these food contact substances in food packaging.