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New EU food labelling rules

EU • As of 13 December 2014, new EU food labelling regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, 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 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 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. These labelling requirements are the same for online, distance-selling or buying in a shop.

However, rules relating to mandatory nutritional labelling for processed food will only apply from 13 December 2016. Food business operators have been given three years to ensure a smooth transition towards the new labelling regime for prepacked and non-prepacked foods.

Armin Karl Geiger

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