Safety of Metal Packaging
The critical role that canned food and beverage products play in ensuring food safety and nutrition for consumers and their families is all too often an unknown and under appreciated fact. Almost everyone recognizes that canned food and beverages are typically less expensive than fresh, frozen or refrigerated options. But most do not know that cans are also one of the safest options for food packaging.
Cans enable high temperature sterilization of food products when initially packaged, a critical factor in maintaining the sterility of the food product. Can coatings are applied to eliminate interactions between the metal package and the food contents. The coatings prevent perforation defects in the can that would allow bacteria and microorganisms to enter. By maintaining the integrity of the can, these coatings protect against food poisoning caused by microbiological contamination. .
Today's use of epoxy resin can coatings made with bisphenol A (BPA) is the result of over 50 years of research to develop and provide cans with the safest and most effective food contact performance. Epoxy resins in the lining of metal cans provide that critical protection against microbial contaminants and securing the nutritional value of the food product.
According to FDA records, there has not been an incidence of food-borne illness from the failure of a metal can in the 30 years since epoxy-resin coatings have been in use. The same cannot be said for fresh, frozen, or refrigerated foods. High profile incidents of fresh food contamination – most recently the deadly May 2011 outbreak of an E.coli strain -- are sad reminders that food packaging choices are too important to leave to emotion. Food packaging options must be based on science, because when it comes to food safety, lives are at risk.
NAMPA and its members remain confident in the safety of canned food and beverages, based on the conclusions of regulatory experts worldwide - including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Food Safety Authority, and most recently, the World Health Organization – which have all concluded that the extremely low levels of BPA found in canned foods do not present a health risk to children or adults.