FSSAI Issues Warning Against Newspaper Usage for Food Packaging Citing Health Risks

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a cautionary advisory, discouraging both food vendors and consumers from employing newspapers for packaging, serving, or storing food items due to significant health hazards. The FSSAI has emphasized that the ink used in newspapers contains harmful substances that can potentially contaminate food, posing health concerns.

FSSAI, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. G Kamala Vardhana Rao has strongly urged food vendors and consumers nationwide to cease using newspapers for the packaging, serving, and storage of food items. Expressing concern over this prevalent practice, Mr. Rao has highlighted the considerable health risks associated with it.

In its advisory, the FSSAI explained that the ink used in newspapers contains various bioactive materials with well-known adverse health effects. Ingesting food in contact with such ink can lead to health problems. Additionally, the printing inks may contain chemicals, including lead and heavy metals, which can leach into the food, posing long-term health risks.

Furthermore, newspapers are exposed to various environmental conditions during distribution, rendering them susceptible to contamination by bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens that may transfer to the food. This, in turn, can potentially result in foodborne illnesses.

The FSSAI has already notified the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations, 2018, which strictly prohibit the use of newspapers or similar materials for storing and wrapping food. According to these regulations, newspapers should not be used to wrap, cover, serve food, or absorb excess oil from fried food.

Mr. Rao stressed the paramount importance of food safety and urged all food vendors to adopt responsible packaging practices that prioritize the well-being of their customers. By discouraging the use of newspapers for food packaging and promoting safe alternatives, the FSSAI reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply.

The FSSAI has called upon consumers, food vendors, and stakeholders across the nation to immediately discontinue the use of newspapers as food packaging material. Instead, they are encouraged to opt for safe and approved food packaging materials and food-grade containers, thereby ensuring the safety and well-being of consumers.