The Finnish Food Act (297/2021) is also partially applied to materials and articles that come into contact with food. For example, food packing materials, dishes, cutlery, cooking supplies and appliances are food contact materials. According The Finnish Food Act (13 §), food contact material operators (manufacturers, importers, suppliers/wholesalers) must notify the municipal food authority about their operations. A food business operator, e.g. a wholesaler, can be a food contact material operator as well.
The EU legislation concerning all the food contact materials and food contact material operators (the Framework Regulation 1935/2004, and the GMP Regulation 2023/2006) requires the food contact material operator to produce the food contact materials according to good manufacturing practices and to have a documented quality management system in place. The requirement is equivalent to requirement of the in-house control for food business operators.
Food contact materials must have a safe chemical and microbiological quality, and they must also otherwise fulfil the legal requirements. These materials and articles may not release to food their constituents in amounts which could endanger human health. The operator must take care that the information on food contact materials does not misslead consumers.
The main responsibility for the general safety and regulatory compliance of the material lies with the contact material operator who manufactures, imports or supplies/wholesales the food contact materials. In trade between companies, safety is demonstrated with documents, such as a declaration of compliance, showing that the materials and articles are suitable for use with food. These documents must show which legislation, recommendations or risk assessments the safety and regulatory compliance of the materials and articles is based on. The food contact materials must be traceable.