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Ceramic objects in contact with foodstuffs

Ceramics can transfer toxins (lead and cadmium) to foodstuffs with which they are in contact. Only ceramic objects intended to come into contact with foodstuffs must be accompanied by a written declaration from the manufacturer or seller stating that they do not exceed the maximum limits for the transfer of lead and cadmium.

ACT

Council Directive 84/500/EEC of 15 October 1984 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to ceramic articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

Ceramic objects used to contain foodstuffs may transfer lead and cadmium to these foodstuffs. These two metals are toxic and can constitute a risk to human health.

The Directive lays down maximum limits for the cadmium and lead transferred by ceramic objects to the foodstuffs with which they enter into contact.

Declaration of conformity

To be sold, these ceramics must be accompanied by a written declaration provided by the manufacturer or importer, guaranteeing that they do not exceed the maximum limits for lead and cadmium. The information required is described in Annex II (introduced by Directive 2005/31/EC).

The declaration was introduced to meet the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (Directive 84/500/EEC is a measure specific to the groups of materials and objects listed in Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004).

The maximum limits for lead and cadmium must be checked by means of a test and a method of analysis (Annex III, introduced by Directive 2005/31/EC).

These methods take into account the very latest scientific progress in methods of analysis for official tests of lead and cadmium in foodstuffs, in accordance with Directive 2001/22/EC (see the Associated Acts heading below).

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 84/500/EEC 17.10.1984 - OJ L 277 of 20.10.1984; corrigenda: OJ L 114 of 27.04.1989 and OJ L 181 of 28.06.1989.

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2005/31/EC 21.05.2005 20.05.2006
20.05.2007 (Ban on the production and import of products that do not meet the criteria)
OJ L 110 of 30.04.2005

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 333/2007 of 28 March 2007 laying down the methods of sampling and analysis for the official control of the levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, inorganic tin, 3-MCPD and benzo(a)pyrene in foodstuffs [Official Journal L 88 of 29.3.2007].

Last updated: 13.04.2007

See also

See the SCADplus factsheet for more information on sampling methods and the Community methods for analysing foodstuffs intended for human consumption.

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