By Sandee LaMotte, CNN
Alarming levels of dangerous chemicals known as PFAS were discovered in food packaging at a number of well-known fast-food and fast-casual restaurants and grocery store chains, a new report found.
The highest levels of indicators for PFAS were found in food packaging from Nathan’s Famous, Cava, Arby’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Stop & Shop and Sweetgreen, according to an investigation released Thursday by Consumer Reports.
Often called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment, PFAS are used in food packaging to prevent grease and water from soaking through food wrappers and beverage cups. PFAS can also be found in the ink used to print logos and instructions on food containers.
The new report comes more than two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, when the public has relied heavily on takeout and grocery deliveries.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls exposure to PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) a “public health concern,” citing studies that found the human-made chemicals can harm the immune system and reduce a person’s resistance to infectious diseases.