Guide

Food packaging

Aluminium in food packaging

Aluminium can be found in foods for several reasons. It might be in a food because:

  • it occurs naturally 
  • it migrates to food from aluminium cooking utensils and packaging

Which foods contain most aluminium?

Some plants have high levels of aluminium, including:

  • tea
  • some herbs
  • some leafy vegetables

Are the levels of aluminium in food safe?

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) regularly measures the amount of aluminium in our diet. They have found that levels of aluminium consumed in food are well within the World Health Organisation's safety guidelines.

How is aluminium from food contact materials regulated?

Materials and articles that come into contact with food must comply with EU rules. The regulations set out the general safety requirements for metals and alloys.

Materials such as aluminium must be manufactured in a way that prevents them affecting the food or making it harmful. They must not change the nature, substance or quality of the food.

Safely using foil and aluminium cookware

Studies have shown that cooking foods in aluminium containers increased the aluminium content in the food, but only by a very small amount. However, it is best not to use aluminium products with very acidic foods such as rhubarb as it can give a taint to such foods.