MPI finds no food safety risks with food packaging materials
New data from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) shows there are no food safety risks with the use of everyday
food packaging materials such as plastic and paper.
A recent MPI study on New Zealand foods looked at the transfer of chemicals from a range of food packaging types onto
foods and whether or not this had a risk to public health.
MPI Acting Manager Food Risk Assessment Dr Andrew Pearson says we sampled 74 various packaged and takeaway foods and
tested them to see if any traces of chemicals from the packaging had transferred to the food.
“We then looked at the data and carried out a thorough risk assessment. As a result we have found that while there were
occasional cases where chemicals from food packaging materials transferred onto food, this occurred at low levels and
there is no food safety risks for consumers,” says Dr Pearson.
“Consumers are increasingly wanting to know more about what’s in their food, so studies like this help provide consumers
with assurance that what they’re eating is safe.
“As the regulator for food safety, a key part of our role is to continuously monitor and test for potential hazards in
foods and assess whether or not there is any health risks to consumers.
“We will continue to monitor any potential risks in this area and ensure that our approach to food safety is in line
with current scientific evidence.”
MPI’s study feeds into a wider programme that the Food Standards Australia New Zealand agency is undertaking to assess
whether chemicals in food packaging present any health and safety concerns across the Tasman, and if so, whether current
regulations adequately manage any risks posed. This programme has concluded and found no regulatory changes were needed
in New Zealand or Australia.
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