Throughout its manufacture, preparation, processing, storage and handling, food products come into contact with a wide range of rubber and plastic surfaces. At every contact, there is a potential to transfer chemicals onto food, posing a consumer health risk.

Smithers helps manufacturers, suppliers and users of rubber and plastic products across the food sector ensure consumer safety by achieving regulatory compliance.

Helping you achieve regulatory compliance

Compliance with food contact regulations is mandatory. Smithers helps clients understand which regulations they need to comply with and can conduct the necessary testing. We cover all aspects of the regulatory approval process, from manufacturing and compositional requirements to the design and conduct of migration testing protocols. Assessments can be performed to both US and European regulations.

Typical products assessed for food contact safety include:

  • Baking and bakery equipment
  • Dairy and meat processing equipment
  • Food processing equipment including: depositors, extruding machines, mixers, process vessels, pumps
  • Refrigeration and storage including consumer and industrial white goods
  • Food conveyor equipment & systems
  • Utensils
  • Pans and other cooking surfaces
  • Food preparation gloves

Support with regulations

The regulatory landscape can be complex. Our experts will help you understand which regulations your products need to comply with and what testing and documentation is needed.

Our extensive polymer material expertise allows us to support you early on in the product development process to help you make informed material choices - from a compliance and a functional performance perspective. Support includes:
  • GMP requirements
  • Compositional requirements
  • Selection and development of elastomer compounds
  • Independent opinion on best elastomer options at design stage
  • Contamination analysis and prevention

Laboratory migration testing service

Our support includes
  • Overall and specific migration testing
  • Organoleptic testing
  • Testing for restricted substances
Overall migration (OML)
Undertake overall migration (OML) testing on your plastic food contact products according to in-house procedures which are based on the published EN 1186 standard methods. Many of these tests are included on our UKAS schedule of accredited tests.
We can test your samples using the following methods: total immersion, single sided test cell, pouch and article filling. 

Our laboratories can also undertake testing on your rubber food contact products to National regulations such as the USA FDA regulations part 21, section 177.2600 and the German BfR recommendations. 

Specific Migration and custom test methods
Smithers has the expertise and capability to develop custom test methods for substances not covered by standard test methods. 

Regulation (EU) 10/2011 contains over 900 substances, many of which require migration testing to demonstrate compliance with migration and other limits. Standard test methods only exist for a small fraction of these substances therefore a method may need to be specifically developed for the substance you wish to use. We have a large number of in-house methods and expertise to develop methods if required.

Find out more about the food contact regulatory support that Smithers provides.