The advice sheets below have the latest information on food standards. If you need more advice call 01753 475111 (Enforcement & Regulatory option).
In the guide
This guidance is for England
If you package food yourself, you must ensure that you use packaging that is suitable for food use. Suitable packaging will be marked 'for food contact' or have a symbol on it that looks like a wine glass and a fork.
It includes things like cling film, ceramic and plastic containers.
Food contact materials are those that:
This includes direct or indirect contact.
You should ask the business supplying you with the food contact materials to supply written evidence that the materials comply with the relevant requirements.
This is known as a 'declaration of compliance' and you can get it from your packaging supplier. You also have to get one if you buy food that's already packaged for sale in any of those materials.
The declaration of compliance will normally contain information about:
You should keep the declarations with your other records as these may be asked for by trading standards or environmental health officers when they visit you.
It is a criminal offence to sell food that does not comply with the Materials and Articles in Contact with Food (England) Regulations 2012.
The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.
The European Commission website has more detailed information on food contact materials legislation.
Last reviewed / updated: August 2017
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.
The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.