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Germany Updates Food-Contact Recommendations

BFR building in Germany

Many of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) Food-Contact Recommendations were updated in 2019 and published in February 2020. While these recommendations are not legally binding, they are widely respected by industry throughout the European Union.

Updates to BfR Recommendation XXXVI (Paper and Board for Food Contact) include new migration limits for slimicides and aluminum, and the addition of substances to the lists of permitted slimicides, preservatives, and refining and coating agents. Recommendations XXXVI/1 (Cooking Paper, Hot Filter Papers, and Filter Layers) and XXXVI/2 (Paper and Paperboard for Baking Purposes) were also updated to include new restrictions on the migration of aluminum into food and to expand permitted substances in categories such as antimicrobial agents and preservatives.

Revisions impacting plastic food-contact materials include updates to the list of catalyst residues for polypropylene in Recommendation VII and catalyst residues for polyethylene in Recommendation III. Also, the table of substances for preparations of colorants for materials other than plastics was deleted in Recommendation IX (Colorants for Plastics and other Polymers Used in Commodities).  With respect to Recommendation XIV (polymer dispersions), the list of monomers that may be used for polymer dispersions was expanded to include not only monomers listed in the Plastics Regulation, (EU) No. 10/2011, but also other starting substances. 

Other updates impact silicones, waxes, absorber pads based on cellulosic fiber, and temperature resistant polymer coating systems.