Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are once again at the forefront of food safety conversations as Restaurant Brands International and Chick-Fil-A pledge to eliminate the chemicals from their packaging. This news follows the introduction of a U.S. bill banning PFAS in food containers and a multimillion-dollar fight against PFAS in Maine.
Restaurant Brands International, the group that owns Burger King, Tim Hortons, Popeyes, and Firehouse Subs, stated its commitment to phasing out PFAS from all approved, guest-facing packaging materials globally by the end of 2025 or sooner. Chick-Fil-A expects PFAS to be completely phased out of all packaging in its supply chain by the end of summer 2022.
The statements from Restaurant Brands International and Chick-Fil-A were spurred by an investigation published by Consumer Reports that found PFAS in the majority of food packaging tested, including from brands that have previously claimed ending the use of the chemicals.
Public awareness about PFAS is rising as scientific evidence mounts against the substances. Not only have PFAS been linked to chronic health conditions including cancer, but they are often called “forever chemicals” due to their inability to break down over time.