Are melamine food wares safe to use?

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A member of the public wrote on an online news site that using melamine food could cause health problems, such as kidney problems, bladder stones (urolithiasis), kidney failure and even cancer.

A member of the public wrote on an online news site that using melamine food could cause health problems, such as kidney problems, bladder stones (urolithiasis), kidney failure and even cancer.

 

That's not true.

 

Melamine has a history of safe use in food products. There have been no scientific reports of adverse health effects from the use of melamine in foods. When used properly, the migration of melamine from food products is negligible or very low and does not pose a threat to public health.

 

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has made the following recommendations on the use of melamine tableware:

Do not heat or cook food in melamine utensils

Do not use melamine utensils in a microwave or traditional oven

Do not use serrated knives on melamine utensils

Do not use tamine tableware with damaged surfaces

Do not use coarse abrasive cleaner, steel velvet or metal cleaning cloth to clean melamine tableware

Use melamine cutlery (if available) according to manufacturer's instructions

 

The Singapore Food Code sets out the safety requirements for plastics that come into contact with food (e.g. food utensils such as bowls, plates and utensils) imported and sold in Singapore. Manufacturers of plastics in food contact must test their products to ensure they comply with the restrictions of relevant regulations and intended conditions of use.

 

In addition, under the Environmental Public Health (Food Hygiene) Regulations, food traders and their food handlers must ensure that their crockery, utensils or appliances are not cracked, broken, cracked or damaged at any time.

 

AVA regularly samples and tests food appliances, including melamine food appliances, to ensure that they do not release any harmful substances when they come into contact with food or under intended conditions of use. Foods that fail the test will not be allowed to be sold.