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Food Safety

Food information to consumers - legislation

EU law on food information to consumers

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

This Regulation provides in particular clearer and harmonized presentation of allergens (e.g. soy, nuts, gluten, and lactose) for prepacked foods (emphasis by font, style or background colour) in the list of ingredients and mandatory allergen information for non-prepacked foods, including in restaurants and cafes. It also foresees certain nutrition information for the majority of prepacked processed foods, the mandatory origin information for fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry and the same labelling requirements for online, distance selling or buying in a shop.

The Regulation clarifies the responsibilities of food business operators with respect to food information.

Background information on the adoption of the Regulation and more on the Commission proposal of January 2008 can be found here.

Revision of the Regulation on Food Information to Consumers

As part of the Farm-to-Fork Strategy, the European Commission announced to revise EU rules on the information provided to consumers. The aim of revising the FIC Regulation is to ensure better labelling information to help consumers make healthier and more sustainable food choices and tackle food waste, by proposing to:

  • introduce harmonised mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling and set nutrient profiling criteria to restrict claims made on foods;
  • extend mandatory origin or provenance information for certain products;
  • revise the rules on date marking (‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates)

In addition, the proposed revision of the FIC Regulation will follow up on the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan by considering to:

  • introduce mandatory indications of the list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration for all alcoholic beverages.

More information on the initiatives being considered for the proposed revision and details regarding stakeholder consultation activities can be found here.

Related links

Alcohol labelling

Labelling of alcoholic beverages in the EU: some facts.

Background information on the adoption of the Regulation

In the European Union, the food labelling rules enable citizens to get comprehensive information about the content and composition of food products...

Distance Selling

Rules for the provision of food information for foods offered for sale by means of distance communication.

Expert Group

Agendas and Summary reports from the Expert Group's meetings.

Fair Information Practices

The General Food Law Regulation is the foundation of food and feed law and contains some general principles that are also relevant to the provision of...

Guidance documents

Guidance on a variety of subjects

Language and presentation of food information

Food information shall appear in a language easily understood by the consumers of the Member States where a food is marketed.

Mandatory food information

The general principles, requirements and responsibilities governing food information, and in particular food labelling.

Nutrition labelling

Which nutrition information is mandatory on food labels?

Origin labelling

Indication of the country of origin or place of provenance shall be mandatory where failure to indicate this might mislead the consumer as to the true

Proposal for a revision of the Regulation on Food Information to Consumers (FIC)

In the European Union, the food labelling rules enable citizens to get comprehensive information about the content and composition of food products...

Voluntary food information

Voluntary food information shall not mislead the consumer, shall not be ambiguous or confusing for the consumer and shall, where appropriate, be based...