Major Restaurant Chains Pledge To Eliminate PFAS Permanently - medtigo


Major Restaurant Chains Pledge To Eliminate PFAS Permanently

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After an investigation published by the Consumer Report about the use of PFAS in food packaging by several restaurant chains, many of them pledged to eliminate the chemical from their process.

The owner of big brands like Burger King, Popeye’s, and Tim Hortons, Restaurant Brand International, announced this week that it will eliminate unlimited usage of PFAS chemicals from their process by 2025. Chick-Fil-A also announced on Twitter that it would stop using PFAS chemicals. However, the Washington Post reported the remaining stock might last till summer.

According to the Consumer Reports’ investigation, the toxic chemicals were found in most food wrappers and packaging from major restaurants and grocery stores.

Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are also known as permanent chemicals. They don’t decompose naturally in the environment and can remain in the human body for many years. Moreover, these chemicals can contaminate water and pollute soil when exposed to the ground.

PFAS chemicals are used in several products. They protect things from corrosion, heat, and water.

In its investigation, consumer Reports tested multiple samples of 118 food packaging products of many restaurant and grocery chains. Examples include wrappers for hamburgers, paper bags for French fries, and plates and bowls. Researchers found that more than half of the food packages contained PFAS chemicals, Washington Post reports.

Although the quantity of chemicals humans consume through fast food packaging is very few, experts say that even a tiny amount is enough to cause damage. PFAS chemicals can lead to lower birth weight, immune system suppression, and increase the risk of many cancers.

Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumer Reports, says that the FDA has not issued any guidelines for the usage of these chemicals; thus, there are no checks on the packaging products.

According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), there are more than 9000 PFAS chemicals, and out of them, about 660 are used for packaging fast food. There is no toxicity assessment, says Hansen.

Before the voluntary pledge by many restaurants, Denmark had already set a limit to 20 parts per million for the public’s safety.

Consumer Reports has some suggestions indeed to prevent damage to the human body. According to the organization, fast food should be removed from the packaging as soon as possible. Also, the food should not be re-heated in the same packaging; it will act as a catalyst in mixing the chemicals with the food.

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