California’s City of Santa Rosa has become the latest jurisdiction to regulate PFAS in food contact materials and articles in food facilities. The new law will become effective on January 1, 2022.

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On August 19, 2021, the vice mayor of the City of Santa Rosa in California’s Sonoma County signed Ordinance No. ORD-2021-008 ‘Zero Waste Food Ware Ordinance’ into law to prohibit per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food ware and/or food ware accessories for dine-ins, take-outs, or in retail establishments or at city-sponsored events. 

The latest Ordinance amends the City Code by adding new Chapter 9-30. In addition to the aforementioned prohibition of PFAS in food ware and/or food ware accessories, the new law contains several important provisions. It:

  • Prohibits polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) in food service ware
  • Requires dine-in food facilities to only use reusable food ware and reusable food ware accessories
  • Requires dine-in food facilities to offer condiments in a reusable dispenser or format rather than pre-packaged single-use packets
  • Requires food facilities to provide food ware accessories (items normally provided alongside prepared food) upon request 

According to the definitions in the new law, ‘Food ware’ and ‘Food ware accessories’ have the following meaning:

  • ‘Food ware’ means all bowls, boxes, containers, cups, lids, plates, trays and other similar items that are used for prepared foods
  • ‘Food ware accessories’ means types of item that are normally provided alongside prepared food, including but not limited to beverage trays, chopsticks, cocktail sticks, condiment containers, cup sleeves, forks, knives, napkins, plate-liners, splash sticks, spoons, stirrers, straws, toothpicks, tray-liners and wrappers

Highlights on the prohibition of PFAS in food ware and/or food ware accessories in food facilities are summarized in Table 1.  

City of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California
Ordinance No. ORD-2021-008 ‘Zero Waste Food Ware’

Substance

Scope

Requirement

Effective Date

PFAS

Food ware and/or food ware accessories in food facilities1, 2

Prohibited

January 1, 2022

1The use of PFAS by retail establishments includes coolers, ice chests or similar containers, unless these are wholly encapsulated or encased within more durable material so as to be reusable
2Food facilities as described in California Retail Food Code section 113789

Table 1

SGS technical experts have extensive knowledge and testing experience in materials and articles in contact with food. They work to ensure that your products meet the appropriate regulations for food contact materials, paving the way for compliance. From overall migration tests to expert advice on emerging regulations, compliance issues and documentation review, SGS is the partner to trust. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Discover more on our website and read our brochure.

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