Food contact materials are all materials and articles intended to come into contact with food, such as packaging and containers, kitchen equipment, cutlery and dishes. These can be made from a variety of materials including plastics, rubber, paper and metal.
They also include materials used in processing equipment, such as coffee makers or production machinery as well as containers used for transport. European legislation for food contact materials also covers materials that contact water intended for human consumption, e.g. bottles, but excludes fixed public or private water supply equipment.
The safety of food contact materials must be evaluated as chemicals can migrate from the materials into food. The materials must be manufactured in compliance with EU regulations, including good manufacturing practices, so that any potential transfer to foods does not raise safety concerns, change the composition of the food in an unacceptable way or have adverse effects on the taste and/or odour of foods.