Harmful substances found in fast food packages across Europe

BEUC NEWS - 09.03.2017

You won’t look at your burgers, fries or pizza packages the same way. Several lab tests across the EU have recently found that some fast food packages contain toxic substances. They are fluorinated compounds that damage the environment and potentially human health.


BEUC members from Belgium (/), Italy (), Denmark (), Spain () and Portugal () have sounded the alarm in recent days.

The analysis of the 65 samples of fast food packaging from across the EU showed that:

  • In almost all samples the amount of fluorinated compounds exceeds a limit value which is recommended by the Danish food safety authorities.
  • Toxic chemicals have been found in half of the sampled products. Some are on the EU’s list of Substances of Very High Concern, such as perfluorooctanoic acid, a chemical that damages fertility and harms unborn children.
  • Fries packages were the ones that contained most substances.

In this light, EU measures regulating paper and board that come in contact with food are necessary. Last October 2016, the EU Parliament rightly adopted a asking the EU Commission to do so.

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