Safe Food Preparation Using Stainless Steel

An independent report, commissioned by Team Stainless, confirms the continuing safety of using stainless steel in food preparation, following the introduction of new test criteria in Europe.

The Council of Europe (CoE) published a guideline regarding metals and alloys in food contact materials in 2013, defining specific release limits (SRLs) for iron, chromium, nickel, manganese and molybdenum and including a new, more aggressive test to simulate use in food preparation.

Team Stainless commissioned the internationally renowned KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden to independently test seven grades of stainless steel in accordance with the new protocol.

The seven grades tested included the two most common grades – 304 (EN 1.4301) and 316L (EN 1.4404) – as well as the ferritic grades EN 1.4003 and 430 (EN 1.4016), the austenitic grades 201 (EN 1.4372) and 204 (EN 1.4597), and the high-strength lean duplex LDX 2101 (EN 1.4162).

The authors demonstrated that all of the grades tested are safe to use for food preparation as the amounts of metals released were below the Specific Release Limits (SRLs) prescribed in the CoE guidelines. The study also demonstrated that the rate of release decreases significantly following initial exposure and with repeated use over time.