Polystyrene has been used for foodservice packaging—foam coffee cups, salad bar takeout containers, hot noodle cups and more—for more than six decades.

In the U.S., the federal  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strictly regulates all food packaging materials, including polystyrene. FDA has determined that polystyrene is safe for use in contact with food. In addition, while some have raised questions about the safety of polystyrene's raw material, the Director of the National Toxicology Program said “In finished [polystyrene foam containers], styrene is not an issue.” The European Commission/European Food Safety Authority and other regulatory agencies have reached similar conclusions.

Public health officials also have recognized the important sanitary benefits of these disposable foodservice products, particularly in settings such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, cafeterias and restaurants where it is critical that the materials in contact with food be clean and hygienic.

For additional information, please visit the safety page on plasticfoodservicefacts.com or the polystyrene page on chemicalsafetyfacts.org.


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