Food information to consumers - legislation

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 entered into application on 13 December 2014. The obligation to provide nutrition information applies since 13 December 2016.

The new law combines two Directives into one Regulation:

  • 2000/13/EC - Labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs (applicable until 12 December 2014)
  • 90/496/EEC - Nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.

Key Changes

  • 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"
  • Clear indication of defrosted products.

The Regulation clarifies in its Article 8 the responsibilities of food business operators with respect to food information.

Background information on the adoption of the Regulation

Adoption calendar of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011

More on the original Commission proposal

The Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection considered a number of labelling issues. In order to provide a more coherent basis in the future and redefine the foundations of our approach, we launched a dialogue with our key stakeholders in our established consultative fora.

The background paper used to frame these discussions has been sent to Member States and was also discussed during meetings of the following Groups:

  • Advisory Group on the Food Chain and Animal and Plant Health
  • European Consumer Consultative Group
  • Consumer Policy Network of senior consumer officials
  • Health Policy Forum

Stakeholders were also invited to send their individual responses until June 16th, 2006. A summary (last updated on 05-03-2007) of these responses, and the individual responses, are available.