Cheeseburgers, rooster burritos and different meat merchandise had the best phthalate/plasticizer content material, with a lot greater DEHT ranges detected in burritos than in burgers.
On the upside, cheese pizzas have been among the many least contaminated meals, whereas French fries have been discovered to be DEHT-free.
As a result of not all of those chemical compounds have been totally studied, the exact hurt they could pose to human well being is just not fully clear, the staff acknowledged.
However Edwards cautioned that till researchers get a greater deal with on the chance concerned, shoppers ought to know that “it isn’t solely [about] processed meals” at quick meals chains — any meals that is dealt with in any restaurant setting will be uncovered to such chemical compounds, she famous.
With that in thoughts, Edwards mentioned higher oversight is required, including that she hopes “our work can be utilized by policymakers to assist create stronger rules to maintain phthalates and alternative plasticizers out of our meals.”
In the meantime, one factor that individuals can do to restrict potential danger is to “eat decrease on the meals chain.” That, mentioned Edwards, mainly means limiting meat consumption.
“Nevertheless, we acknowledge that this technique to cut back publicity is just not at all times accessible to everybody,” she added. So, she and her colleagues level to their very own prior analysis, which means that dwelling cooking is the safer guess, since individuals have a tendency to not use problematic plastic gloves, packaging and the like when prepping meals in their very own kitchen.
That is a method echoed by Lona Sandon, program director of the division of medical diet at UT Southwestern Medical Heart in Dallas.
“Many quick meals chains depend on meats, rooster and fish or different meals which can be preformed, partially cooked, then frozen, packaged in plastic, and shipped to the restaurant website to be completed on the time of order,” Sandon famous. “This provides loads of time for these meals to sit down wrapped in plastic.”
And even comparatively wholesome meals choices will not be resistant to plastic publicity, she added, noting that “natural or not, the chance persists if the meals is saved in plastic that has these chemical compounds.”