Major changes to Food Labelling Laws

Do you know?   If you don’t You need to!

On the 13th December 2014 a new law will be introduced:
Food Information for Consumers (FCI) Regulation 1169/2011 EC

Who will it effect?

This law will effect ALL food supply business operators at ALL stages in the food supply chain, including but not limited to hotels, restaurants, public houses, schools, hospitals, care homes and voluntary organisations who provide regular refreshments to consumers (for example church groups and cricket teas).

Not another legal requirement – I hear you say!

Well yes it is, but this time everyone in the industry really does need to pay attention because this is not just a paper exercise it requires compliance from day one!

So what’s it all about?

This law focuses on providing clear concise and accurate information to a very vulnerable sector of the community, those who suffer from food allergies.  Now I am sure you have frequently been asked to provide a special diet for a customer who ‘suffers from a food allergy’, but in reality is it an allergy, an intolerance or a preference? And does it really matter?  Well yes it does because those with a food allergy know that coming into contact with, maybe just a trace of an allergen, could be fatal.

Trust me those with a food allergy know everything about it – if they didn’t they could die!
So suffers of allergenic reactions know all about food allergens. However, generally speaking they are not being informed as to what food contain allergens, particularly with non-pre packed food or meals that are prepared onsite.

In brief

The regulation stipulates that information must be clear and legible (Articles 12&13):

  • Mandatory food information to be available and easily accessible for all foods
  • For pre packed foods, mandatory information to appear directly on the package or on a label attached to it
  • Mandatory information to be marked in a conspicuous place, be easily visible, clearly legible and where appropriate indelible
  • If the information is given verbally it must be verifiable

What are the 14 allergenic foods?

Peanuts, Tree nuts, Soya, Milk, Mustard, Lupin, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish, Molluscs, Cereals (containing gluten), Sesame, Celery and Sulphur dioxide