Commodities are defined in the Food and Commodities Act.
Commodities are items used in daily life which come into direct contact with human skin, or indirectly via foodstuffs. Commodities are made of various materials such as wood, ceramic, glass, textiles, leather, plant fibres, metal, rubber, or plastic.
Good examples are crockery, food packaging material, clothing articles, articles for babies and toddlers, personal hygiene articles, toys and fun articles, detergents and cleaning products for household use.
In accordance with these guidelines, testing and legal assessment take place in the Institute for Consumer Products, Lüneburg. For instance, utensils are tested for a possible adverse effect on foodstuffs through transition of substances (release of toxic heavy metal in crockery, transition of plasticisers in packaging material, and lately the effectiveness of antimicrobial equipped utensils by food contact etc.). Substances triggering allergies are a focal testing point, substances such as colorants (dyes), latex proteins or nickel in various utensils which come into human contact, and as a topical issue, the biocidal finish in textiles with tin compounds. Toys in particular are tested for safety while taking into consideration child suitability for play. In the case of cleaning and skincare products, the disclosure of and determined contents should be evaluated, also taking into consideration the regulations for hazardous materials.