New EU Food Labelling Regulations no 1169/2011

The European Union has published information designed to make food labelling easier to understand for consumers.

Source: stock.xchng

The result is that the new regulation (Regulation (EU) no1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers) combines rules on general food and nutrition labelling into this single EU regulation. T

The bulk of the requirements within the new regulations will not apply until 2014, with nutrition labelling becoming mandatory in 2016.

Main Points are:

  • Country of origin – subject to further discussion, the introduction of mandatory origin information for most fresh and frozen meat. For example, it will be possible for ‘Scotland’, ‘England’, ‘Wales’ and ‘Northern Ireland’ to be used on food labels without mentioning ‘UK’ under new provenance rules. Also, the origin of main ingredients will have to be given if different from where the final product is made.
  • Nutrition labelling will be required for most foods. Simplified information may be provided voluntarily on front of pack.
  • Labelling clarity – a minimum font size has been set for all mandatory information on most food labels.
  • Allergen information will have to be provided on all food (whether sold prepacked or loose). For prepacked foods, the allergens will have to be highlighted on the ingredient list.
  • Drinks with high caffeine content will have to be additionally labelled as not recommended for children, or pregnant and breastfeeding women, with the actual caffeine content quoted.
  • Meat and fish products that look like a cut, joint or slice and contain more than 5% added water will have to show this in the name of the food.
  • The types of vegetable oil used in food, such as palm oil, must be stated.

The EU has also agreed:

  • To make it easier for alcoholic drinks companies to voluntarily include calorie information on product labels.
  • To enable voluntary provision of calorie information in out of home settings.
  • To continue to permit selling by numbers – such as a dozen bread rolls or eggs.
A copy of the legislation can be downloaded from the Europa website ; http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:304:0018:0063:EN:PDF

Source: Food Standards Agency

About ABurne

Andy Burne has worked in Technical Management for many years in the food industry. Now he is a certified BRC auditor and provides consultancy to the Food Industry.