According to a study by Stiftung Warentest, canned food is often contaminated with a pollutant. “Bisphenol A was present in 51 of the 58 cans examined,” the product testers explained in the May issue of the consumer magazine “test”. It is not entirely clear at what quantity the substance is dangerous to health; Stiftung Warentest advised eating as little canned food as possible.

“Bisphenol A, or BPA, can, among other things, impair fertility and has a hormone-like effect,” explained Swantje Waterstraat from “test”. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has classified the substance as “of very high concern”.

In 2023, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reduced the tolerable intake level up to which no health risk is expected by 20,000 times. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also lowered its benchmark, but less drastically.

Another EU monitoring body, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), does not see a danger from BPA to this extent. Last spring, the EMA criticized EFSA’s methodology as being too hasty, “since a causal relationship has not been proven in either an animal or a human study.”

According to the Efsa value, all 51 products in the product test are “heavily contaminated”. If the BfR value is used as a basis, 14 products are significantly to heavily contaminated, the testers explained. The chemical can migrate from the can coating into the contents and end up on the plate.

According to Stiftung Warentest, bisphenol A was detected in cans of soups, stews, tuna, tomatoes and coconut milk. Only condensed milk and a can of peas with carrots were uncontaminated. “Avoiding bisphenol A makes sense. We recommend eating foods that come in cans, for example,” explained product tester Waterstraat.