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Welcome to the new food labelling Regulation: more details for a better safety


Member of the Rome and Brussels Bar Association,
Resident Counsel in Brussels for De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani


Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 is applicable running from 13 December 2014. The new set of rules aims to improve the previous legal framework, allowing consumers to make more informed choices and a safe use of foodstuff. All the main innovations can be summarized as follows: a) mandatory nutrition information on processed foods; b) mandatory origin labelling of unprocessed meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry; c) highlighting allergens e.g. peanuts or milk in the list of ingredients; d) better legibility, i.e. minimum size of text; e) requirements on information on allergens, also cover non pre-packed foods including those sold in restaurants and cafés. The purpose of the article is to explore briefly the emerge of all the new regulatory aspects, seeking to provide a better acknowledgement of the Regulation.

The Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (hereinafter “Regulation’”) (1) applies since December 2014, with the exception of the provisions concerning the obligation to provide a nutritional declaration, which shall apply from December 2016. The new set of rules represents an important outcome after several years of negotiations: it merges together Directive 2000/13/EC (2) on the labelling of foodstuffs and Directive 90/496/EEC (3) on nutritional labelling, allowing consumers to make informed choices and safe use of food, while at the same time ensures the free movement of legally produced and marketed food. In particular, national standards appear harmonized in three main aspects: presentation and advertising of foodstuffs; accurate indication of nutrients and their caloric intake; warnings on the presence of ingredients which may cause allergies. The purpose is to achieve, without compromise the internal market, a high level of health protection for consumers and guarantee their right to information, considering that consumers’ choices can also be influenced by social and ethical consideration.

The Regulation consists of ...

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