I had a weird experience last night eating take-out lasagna from a local restaurant. The lasagna had a strong metallic taste. I already knew that tomato sauce and other acidic foods react with and dissolve aluminum (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/111/why-does-ketchup-dissolve-aluminum-foil). The weird experience was that, while eating, I experienced a pain like a brief electric shock in one of my fillings! I have to assume that the aluminum ions in the acidic tomato sauce in my mouth were briefly concentrated enough in that one spot to produce the well-known “biting down on foil” effect (described in the same column).
The electric shock initiated the chain of thought that leads to my question: Like everything else in America, many, many of our disposable aluminum foil food containers come from China. We know that Chinese industry, not to put too fine a point on it, sometimes has difficulty with quality control. (Melamine in dog and baby food; “Aqua Dots” toys made with GHB precursor; etc.) My question is this: Are imported food containers inspected to ensure that what claims to be an aluminum foil tray isn’t actually contaminated with mercury, cadmium, or the other toxic metal of your choice?