A dark cloud has descended here at Aspectus Towers, following the warning today that cereal packets could be a health hazard.

Apparently, Swiss researchers have found that when old paper is used to make recycled cardboard, mineral oils in the printing ink may contaminate food stuffs packed inside it. More than half the cardboard in Europe is recycled and mineral oils have been found in the packaged foods at up to 100 times permitted levels. In one scientific paper, researchers described the potential for the oils to migrate into foodstuffs as ‘frightening’.

It is certainly a frightening prospect in light of the volume of cereal consumed in the average week here at Aspectus. But when it comes to the crunch, is it really any more of a worry than re-filling your plastic water bottle, or eating burnt toast?

The UK Food Standards Agency has said that the findings of the Swiss researchers were ‘interesting’ but added that there was no firm evidence of food safety risks, although it will be gathering evidence on the extent of the presence of mineral oils in food packaging on the UK market.

So the question remains: how bad can it be? We’ll tell you next week. It is, after all, a cereal…

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