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Plastic Materials and Articles in Contact with Food Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998

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Part IIISelection of Food Simulants

A.Testing, reduction factors and definition of food types

1.  The testing of plastic materials and articles shall be carried out under the test conditions specified in Part V using a simulant or simulants selected in accordance with this Part and taking a new test specimen of the plastic material or article for each simulant used.

2.—(1) Where a test is carried out on a plastic material or article intended to come into contact with more than one food or group of foods and a reduction factor is specified for one or more of those foods groups or groups of foods which is not equivalent to the reduction factor specified for one or more of the other foods or groups of foods with which the plastic material or article is intended to come into contact—

(a)the reduction factor specified for each food or group of foods, as appropriate, shall be applied to the test result; and

(b)the plastic material or article shall be treated as being capable of transferring its constituents to food with which it may come into contact in excess of a migration limit specified in regulation 7 or Schedule 1 if, following application of the specified reduction factors, one or more of the results show that the material or article does not comply with that specified migration limit.

(2) For the purposes of this paragraph—

(a)a reduction factor is the figure which follows an “X” and oblique stroke in the group of columns headed “Simulants to be used” in the Table to Part IV;

(b)a reduction factor is specified for a food or group of foods where, in the Table to Part IV—

(i)the food or group of foods is described in the column headed “Description of food”; and

(ii)“X” is placed in a column headed by a specified simulant opposite that food or group of foods followed by an oblique stroke and a reduction factor; and

(c)a reduction shall be applied to a test result by dividing the result by that reduction factor.

3.  Food types are defined in the Table to this paragraph (referred to in this Part as “Table 1”).

TABLE 1
DefinitionMeaning
Aqueous foods having a pH > 4·5Foods in relation to which simulant A only is specified in the Table to Part IV
Acidic foods having a pH ≤ 4·5Foods in relation to which simulant B only is specified in the Table to Part IV
Alcoholic foodsFoods in relation to which simulant C only is specified in the Table to Part IV
Fatty foodsFoods in relation to which simulant D only is specified in the Table to Part IV
Dry foodsFoods in relation to which no simulant is specified in the Table to Part IV

B.Selection of simulants for testing materials and articles intended for contact with all food types

4.  The simulants to be used in testing a plastic material or article which is intended for contact with all food types shall be those mentioned below which, at the test conditions specified in Part V, are considered to be the more severe:

  • simulant B;

  • simulant C; and

  • simulant D.

C.Selection of simulants for testing materials and articles which are already in contact with a known food

5.  The simulant or simulants to be used in testing a plastic material article which is already in contact with a known food shall be—

(a)where the known food is a specific food or is within a specific group of foods described in column 2 of the Table to Part IV and, for the purposes of Part IV, a simulant is, or simulants are, specified in relation to that specific food or specific group of foods, the simulant or simulants so specified;

(b)where the known food is neither a specific food nor within a specific group of foods described in the Table to Part IV, the simulant or simulants in column 2 of Table 2 to this Part opposite the description of food in column 1 of that Table which corresponds most closely to the known food.

D.Selection of simulants for testing materials or articles which are accompanied by a specific indication

6.  The simulant or simulants to be used in testing a plastic material or article which, pursuant to regulation 7 or 8, as appropriate, of the 1987 Regulations, is accompanied by a specific indication stating any type or types of food described in Table 1 with which it may or may not be used shall be the simulant or simulants in column 2 of Table 2 to this Part opposite the contact food in column 1 of that Table which corresponds most closely to the type or type of food with which it may be used, as identified by the indication which accompanies the plastic material or article.

7.  The simulant or simulants to be used in testing a plastic material or article which, pursuant to regulation 7 or 8, as appropriate, of the 1987 Regulations, is accompanied by a specific indication, expressed in accordance with paragraph 8, stating any food or group of food described in the Table to Part IV with which it may or may not be used shall be—

(a)where the indication states that the plastic material or article may be used with a food or group of foods described in column 2 of the Table to Part IV, the food simulant or food simulants which, for the purposes of Part IV, is or are specified in relation to that food or group of foods;

(b)where the indication states that the plastic material or article should not be used with any food or group of foods described in column 2 of the Table to Part IV, a simulant other than the simulant or simulants which, for the purposes of Part IV, is or are specified in relation to that food or group of foods.

8.  A specific indication referred to in paragraph 7 is expressed in accordance with this paragraph if it is expressed—

(a)at a marketing stage other than retail, by using the reference number in column 1 of the Table to Part IV or the description of food in column 2 of that Table which, in either case, corresponds to the food;

(b)at the retail stage, by using an indication which refers to only a few foods or groups of foods described in the Table to Part IV.

TABLE 2
Simulants to be selected for testing food contact materials in special cases
Contact foodsSimulant
Only aqueous foodsSimulant A
Only acidic foodsSimulant B
Only alcoholic foodsSimulant C
Only fatty foodsSimulant D
All aqueous and acidic foodsSimulant B
All alcoholic and aqueous foodsSimulant C
All alcoholic and acidic foodsSimulant C and B
All fatty and aqueous foodsSimulant D and A
All fatty and acidic foodsSimulant D and B
All fatty, alcoholic and aqueous foodsSimulant D and C
All fatty, alcoholic and acidic foodsSimulant D, C and B

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