Food

Gluten-free food

Gluten-free food

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 828/2014 lays down harmonised requirements for the provision of information to consumers on the absence or reduced presence of gluten in food.

More specifically, this legislation sets out the conditions under which foods may be labelled as "gluten-free" or "very-low gluten".

The Implementing Regulation entered into application on 20 July 2016. On the same day, Commission Regulation (EC) No 41/2009 concerning the composition and labelling of foodstuffs suitable for people intolerant to gluten, adopted under the old legislative framework of Directive 2009/39/EC, was repealed.

What has the new Regulation on Food for Specific Groups done for foods for people intolerant for gluten?

Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 repealed Regulation (EC) No 41/2009 from 20 July 2016 onwards and required the Commission to transfer its rules under the framework of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 lays down rules requiring the mandatory labelling for all foods of ingredients such as gluten-containing ingredients, with a scientifically proven allergenic or intolerance effect. In order to ensure clarity and consistency, it was considered that all the rules applying to gluten should be set by the same piece of legislation and, for this reason, Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 established that Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 should also be the framework for the rules related to information on the absence of gluten in food.

In order to comply with the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 609/2013, the Commission:

  • first amended Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 through Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1155/2013 (this allowed the Commission to lay down rules on the matter) and

  • subsequently, laid down the specific requirements in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 828/2014.

Regulation (EU) No 828/2014 did not change the substantial rules for using the "gluten free" and "very low gluten" statements which were previously laid down in Regulation (EC) No 41/2009. However, the new rules apply also to non pre-packed foods such as those served in restaurants (out of the scope of the old rules). In addition, the new Regulation also clarifies how operators can inform gluten-intolerant consumers of the difference between foods that are naturally free of gluten and products that are specially formulated for them.