Consumer survey reveals concern over food packaging chemicals

14 May 2014 (Last Updated May 14th, 2014 18:30)

A survey conducted by the Friends of Glass online forum run by FEVE has revealed concern among European consumers about the possible health risks arising from chemicals transferring into foods from packaging.

Glass container_Food

A survey conducted by the Friends of Glass online forum run by FEVE has revealed concern among European consumers about the possible health risks arising from chemicals transferring into foods from packaging.

It was found that 81% of consumers in the UK are worried about food contamination from packaging, with over a third describing their concern as significant.

UK consumers cite food safety in general as their second biggest worry in life, and 62% of parents are concerned about food safety for their children.

Glass has been rated by UK consumers as the safest packaging material, with 38% choosing it as the safest option for food and 65% for drink. There has been a swing towards the view that glass is the the safest material in Europe, with 61% of consumers rating it safest compared to 48% in 2011.

British Glass container affairs head Rebecca Cocking said: "There is clearly some concern in the UK about the issue of food contamination from certain types of packaging sources, but when we look to many other European countries, they have even greater worries about this."

Food Packaging Forum Foundation member Dr Jane Muncke said that in the past, diffusion of chemicals from food packaging into foods in small amounts was considered a low risk.

"But based on recent scientific understanding we now are concerned about even low levels of hormone-active chemicals, and far too little is known about the mixture effects and especially about our exposure to such chemicals at critical points in human development, such as in the womb and during early childhood," Muncke added.

The survey polled consumers in 11 EU countries from 24 February to 7 March.


Image: UK consumers rated glass as the safest packaging material for food and drink. Photo: courtesy of FEVE.