Control of food packaging draws criticism

A report presented by the Danish Auditors of Public Accounts in May criticised the inspection of Danish food packaging. The inadequate controls pose a risk of consumers being exposed to harmful substances.

In the Auditors’ report, both the organisation and execution of the inspection of food packaging by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) are described as unsatisfactory and inefficient.

In 70 out of 322 cases inspected by the DVFA, the limit values for chemical substances in food packaging were exceeded. Of these, 60 of the exceedances were related to the content of PFAS, and the DVFA did not impose sanctions in any of the 70 cases. In addition to PFAS, tests were made for lead, cadmium, mineral oil, melamine and phthalates.

Lack of follow-up
According to the DVFA’s own rules, inspections must be carried out at least every three years. It is therefore worrying that almost half of the food businesses that have been operating in wholesale during the whole six-year period of the surveys have never been inspected. It is also worrying that follow-up has only been carried out in a few cases to check if the companies stopped selling the illegal food packaging.

The Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries states that it will launch several initiatives to strengthen the control of food packaging.

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Helle Buchardt Boyd 
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