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New EU law on food information to consumers

The new Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers entered into application on 13 December 2014. The obligation to provide nutrition information will apply from 13 December 2016.

The new law mainly combines 2 Directives into one legislation:

  • 2000/13/EC - labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs;
  • 90/496/EEC - nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.

Key changes

Some of the key changes to the labelling rules are outlined below:

  • Improved legibility of information (minimum font size for mandatory information);
  • Clearer and harmonised presentation of allergens (e.g. soy, nuts, gluten, lactose) for prepacked foods (emphasis by font, style or background colour) in the list of ingredients;
  • Mandatory allergen information for non-prepacked food, including in restaurants and cafes;
  • Requirement of certain nutrition information for majority of prepacked processed foods;
  • Mandatory origin information for fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry;
  • Same labelling requirements for online, distance-selling or buying in a shop;
  • List of engineered nanomaterials in the ingredients;
  • Specific information on the vegetable origin of refined oils and fats;
  • Strengthened rules to prevent misleading practices;
  • Indication of substitute ingredient for 'Imitation' foods;
  • Clear indication of "formed meat" or "formed fish"; and
  • Clear indication of defrosted products.

Information material and events on Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011

Questions and Answers on the application of the Regulation

Questions and Answers on the application of the Regulation (EU) N° 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers
BG CS DA DE EL EN ES ET FI FR HR HU IT LT LV MT NL PL PT RO SK SL SV PDF

Guidance on allergens

The Commission has started working on the updating of the previous guidance document on allergen labelling.

Public Consultation on Guidelines relating to the provision of information on substances or products causing allergies or intolerances as listed in Annex II of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. Please click here for more information. The last date for making a contribution was 04 January 2015.

Guidance on QUID

The Commission has started working on the updating of the previous guidance on the quantity of certain ingredients as a percentage of the final product (Quantitative Ingredients Declaration - QUID).

Origin labelling

Origin labelling for fresh, chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry

  • Adoption of an implementing act on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance for fresh chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry after an impact assessment.
  • The Commission has commissioned an external study on mandatory origin labelling for pig, poultry and sheep & goat meat
  • The Commission Regulation (EU) No 1337/2013 has been adopted setting out the modalities requiring (with some exceptions) the indication of the place of rearing and the place of slaughter for prepacked fresh, chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry. The new rules are applicable as of 1 April 2015.

Other required actions on origin labelling

Origin labelling for meat used as an ingredient

On 17 December 2013, the Commission adopted a report for the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for meat used as an ingredient (COM(2013)755) BG CS DA DE EL EN ES ET FI FR HR HU IT LT LV MT NL PL PT RO SK SL SV PDF.

The Commission report is accompanied by a Commission Staff Working Document – "Origin labelling for meat used as an ingredient: consumers' attitude, feasibility of possible scenarios and impacts" (SWD(2013)437), which provides detailed information underpinning the findings of the Commission report.

Both the Commission report and the accompanied Commission Staff Working Document are mainly based on the results of an external study commissioned by DG SANCO by the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC), titled "Study on the application of rules on voluntary origin labelling of foods and on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance of meat used as an ingredient".

By 13 December 2013, the Commission must:

  • Adopt implementing acts on the application of "voluntary origin" labelling of foods after an impact assessment. The Commission has commissioned an external study on the application of rules on "voluntary origin" labelling of foods and on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance of meat used as an ingredient.

By 13 December 2014, the Commission must submit reports to the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for the following foods:

  • Types of meat other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry;
  • Milk and milk used as an ingredient in dairy products;
  • Unprocessed foods;
  • Single ingredient products;
  • Ingredients that constitute over 50% of a food.

- Concerning milk and milk used as an ingredient in dairy products and types of meat other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry, the Commission has commissioned an external study (DG AGRI competence).

- Concerning unprocessed foods, single ingredient products and ingredients that constitute over 50% of a food, the Commission (DG SANTE competence) has commissioned an external study.

Background information on the adoption of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011

Adoption calendar of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011

More on the original Commission proposal

 
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