The Safety of Plastic Food Wraps

  • Plastic food Package Containers are used safely by millions of people every day to help protect foods against spoilage and contamination.
  • Some food wraps contain adipates, a kind of plastic softener that allows plastic wrap to cling to bowls to help keep food fresh and safe.
  • One of these adipates, called DEHA, has been the subject of inaccurate media reports recently. These stories ignored decades of safety studies showing that DEHA is safe in food wrap.
  • The U.S Food and Drug Administration, which ensures the safety of food packaging, carefully reviews studies on all substances before allowing their use in food packaging. Based on extensive research, the Food and Drug Administration permits the use of DEHA in packaging for all types of food.
  • Based on U.S. Department of Agriculture figures for average consumption, the exposure to DEHA is below levels of concern. A Consumer’s Union study alleged high exposures, but even assuming that the analysis was accurate, a 150-pound adult would need to eat more than 1,000 pounds of cheese in a single day to reach the observable effect level found in lab animal testing.
  • On its Internet website, Georgetown University’s Center for Food and Nutrition Policy (CFNP) recently wrote, “We at CFNP view the benefits of using plastic wrap to protect food safety and quality on the shelf to far outweigh the imagined risks ….” 

Plastics in the Microwave

Over the years, consumers have come to appreciate the important role plastics play in keeping food safe and healthful. In the home, plastic wraps, storage containers and sealable bags help keep your family safe and your food fresh and free of contamination.

What may be less clear is how appropriate these containers are for use in your microwave oven. Dr. Charles Breder, an expert on food packaging and former supervisory chemist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), offers these guidelines:

  • Cook or reheat foods in containers intended for microwave use. These containers are designed to withstand the high temperatures that are possible when the foods you’re heating contain fat or sugar.
  • Plastic Molding company can make plastic food package box and other type of plastic mold base on customer requirement
  • Remove food from store wrap before thawing or reheating in a microwave oven unless the manufacturer has indicated that it’s meant for microwave use. Some plastic trays, wraps or containers can melt or warp when the food gets hot, possibly causing spills and burns.
  • Most cold-food packages – such as margarine tubs, cottage cheese containers and foam meat trays – are not intended for microwave use.
  • Plastic wraps, placed loosely over bowls or dishes during rewarming, can help keep moisture in and provide even cooking. If the wrap touches the food, the wrap could get overly hot and possibly melt. Yet, as Dr. Breder notes, if you were to accidentally eat food containing melted plastic, you’ll likely have an unpleasant eating experience – but you won’t be harmed.