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South Korea Revises Standards and Specifications for Food Contact Materials and Articles

SafeGuardSHardgoods, HardgoodsJune 19, 2020

South Korea has incorporated, among other things, volatile organic matter into its standards and specifications for food contact materials and articles. The revisions became effective on May 29, 2020.

In South Korea, food contact materials and articles are regulated under the Food Sanitation Act (the Act). Chapter 3 of the Act prohibits the presence or use of toxic/harmful chemicals in food contact utensils, containers and packaging which could endanger human health, as well as directing the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) to establish standards and specifications for these products.

On May 29, 2020, the MFDS published Notice No. 2020-43 announcing its revision to ‘Standards and Specifications for Food Utensils, Containers and Packaging’.  The latest amendment contains several important changes:

  • Revising common manufacturing standards and specifications, including improved methods and layouts
  • Clarifying the use of recycled synthetic resins (recycled plastics) is allowed for materials and articles that do not come into direct contact with food, such as those in multi-layer articles, and subject to these recycled materials not imparting harmful substances into food
  • A completely new requirement of no more than 0.5% total volatile organic matter (VOM) for rubber nipples for young children and its corresponding method (200 °C, 4 hours)

The Notice became effective on the date of its publication - May 29, 2020.

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