AP The first food-grade plastic food processing factory has been built in a lab in Virginia, and the first phase of production could begin within months.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the project on Tuesday.
The plant will be built at the University of Virginia’s College of Engineering, a major research facility that uses high-temperature, high-pressure chemicals to produce the food processors used in restaurants and supermarkets around the country.
The FDA approved the food-processing process in November.
The FDA’s approval is a major step forward for the U.K.-based company.
It is expected to begin manufacturing food- and beverage-grade food processors this year.
The project is part of a larger food safety initiative led by the U,D.C.-based Food and Drink Manufacturers Association.
The association has been pushing to establish a Food Safety Standard for food-processed food.
The first phase, which will cost about $1.8 billion, will consist of a facility that will process the plastic containers that comprise the food.
The remaining portion of the project, which is expected cost about two and a half times as much, will be dedicated to creating and packaging food-quality plastic containers for restaurants and food processing factories.
It is unclear how long the plant will take to construct, and how much work will be required to make the product, but FDA officials say the first product is expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.