The UK’s Food Standards Agency has announced that it has been informed that the chemical ITX (isopropylthioxanthone), a component of printing inks used on some food packaging, may be present at very low levels in some liquid infant formula products.

Some liquid infant formula products sold by Nutricia and SMA may be affected although powdered formula products are not believed to be affected. The European Food Safety Authority has advised that based on current knowledge the presence of ITX in food is not considered to be an immediate health risk.

On the basis of current evidence the Food Standards Agency is advising parents and carers that there is no need to change their baby’s feed, it said.

It is understood that the ink containing the chemical transferred to the inner surface of the packaging before it was filled with the infant formula. The packaging manufacturer, Tetra Pak, has now stopped using this type of ink for infant formula products.

It is likely that other food products of other companies may have been affected by ITX. However, on the basis of current evidence the Agency does not consider this to be a food safety issue requiring consumer action.

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