The new EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers considerably changes existing legislation on food labelling including:
- Nutrition information on processed foods;
- Origin labelling of fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry;
- Highlighting allergens e.g. peanuts or milk in the list of ingredients;
- Better legibility i.e. minimum size of text;
- Requirements on information on allergens also cover non pre-packed foods including those sold in restaurants and cafés.
The new rules will apply from 13 December 2014. The obligation to provide nutrition information will apply from 13 December 2016.
The new law combines 2 Directives into one legislation:
- 2000/13/EC - labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs;
- 90/496/EEC - nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.
By 13 December 2013, the Commission must:
- Adopt implementing acts on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance for unprocessed meat of swine, poultry, sheep and goats after an impact assessment. The Commission has commissioned an external study to do so.
- Adopt implementing acts on the application of "voluntary origin" labelling of foods after an impact assessment;
- Submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for meat used as an ingredient as well as:
- Types of meat other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry; (for 2014)
- Milk; (for 2014)
- Meat used as an ingredient;
- Unprocessed foods; (for 2014)
- Single ingredient products; (for 2014)
- Ingredients that constitute over 50% of a food. (for 2014)
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.
"Commissioner Dalli's statement and Q&A on the food information Regulation. 22 February 2011: Commission Communication to the European Parliament on Council's common position 21 February 2011: Council's common position 16 June 2010: European Parliament 1st reading position on the Commission proposal 30 January 2008: Commission proposal