As of 13 December 2014, new EU food labelling rules, adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2011, will ensure that consumers receive clearer, more comprehensive and accurate information on food content, and help them make informed choices about what they eat.
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.
However, rules relating to mandatory nutritional labelling for processed food will only apply from 13 December 2016.
Thursday December 11, 2014/ EC/ European Union.