週四, 15 一月 2015 15:17

Comprehensive package declarations required EU adopts new food regulations

Comprehensive package declarations required EU adopts new food regulations

January 2015 – A new food regulation has been in force since 13 December 2014, with more comprehensive labelling requirements. Most of the new rules will need to be implemented by all Member States of the European Union with immediate effect. The only detail that need not be provided until April 2015 is the origin of the food, and nutrition listings continues to be voluntary until 2016. Moreover, to avoid waste, any food and beverages that have already been produced may continue to be sold. The more stringent requirements affect not only food manufacturers, but especially also the packaging industry, as an increasing number of demands on readability and additional mandatory details will need to be combined with a minimum use of material.
Photo: © Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture

Photo: © Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture

Better readability and transparent labelling
In all, seven areas of the existing regulation are affected by the new requirements. First of all, customers are to be helped in their purchase decisions through a minimum font size and the typographic highlighting of potentially hazardous substances such as allergens and imitation food. In addition, the regulation requires certain details about the individual food categories. Vegetable oil, for example, must be specified, and frozen food must carry the freezing date. Composite meat and fish products and any imitation food must be clearly marked as such on the packaging. One new requirement is a mandatory indication of manufactured nano particles – i.e. particles no bigger than a virus. Their purpose is to lighten the colour of dry products, such as instant soups and coffee creamers, and to prevent the possible formation of lumps.
Web shopping and eating out
There has been a steady increase in the number of consumers mail-ordering food and beverages online. Customers must now be given an opportunity to view a list of ingredients on the relevant website before receiving the product. Although this does not impact the packaging that is despatched, it must nevertheless contain all the mandatory details. The only products that are within the responsibility of the vendor and not the manufacturer are unpackaged products. Restaurant owners and market vendors of non pre-packed food products must now provide their customers with all the required details, either verbally or in writing.
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