DEADLINE: Nutrition Labelling Mandatory from 13 December 2016.

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers brings together EU rules on general food labelling and nutrition labelling into one piece of legislation.

The majority of the requirements of the new legislation apply to pre-packed foods from 13 December 2014 with mandatory nutrition declarations for most pre-packed foods coming into force on 13 December 2016. New rules on country of origin information for meat from sheep, pigs, goats and poultry apply from 1 April 2015.

Key new requirements

  • For pre-packed foods, allergen information must be emphasised in the ingredients list. 
  • For non-prepacked foods (including catering), allergen information must be made available to consumers. 
  • Nutrition labelling will be required for most pre-packed foods and this must be presented in a consistent format.
  • A minimum font size for the mandatory information on food labels eg. name of the food, ingredients lists, date marks etc.  This also extends to voluntary front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition information.
  • Country of origin information will be required for fresh, chilled and frozen meat of sheep, pigs, goats and poultry.  Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1337/2013 lays down the rules for this requirement and will apply from 1 April 2015.  Meat already packaged may be sold after this date until stocks are exhausted.
  • Date of freezing (or first freezing where products have been frozen more than once) will be required for frozen meat, frozen meat preparations and frozen unprocessed fishery products sold as such to consumers.
  • Compositional standards for minced meat. Where minced meat exceeds the fat and/or collagen:meat  protein ratios in the regulation, it may be sold on the UK market using a national mark along with information about its composition.
  • Drinks with high caffeine content will have to be additionally labelled as not recommended for children or pregnant and breastfeeding women, with the actual caffeine content quoted.
  • Added water over 5% must be declared in the name of the food for meat products and meat preparations which have the appearance of a cut, joint, slice, portion or carcass of meat.  The same will apply to fishery products which have the appearance of a cut, joint, slice, portion, fillet or whole fishery product.

The Regulation can be found via the 'External sites' link on this page.

The FSA has produced summary guidance (available here - please note this link may change / be updated) to provide informal, non-binding advice on the legal requirements of the EU FIC and on Food Information Regulations 2014 for food business operators and enforcement officers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Please note this document is a living document which will be updated as necessary.

A key part of this legislation appears in Article 15:

  1. "...mandatory food information shall appear in a language easily understood by the consumers of the Member States where a food is marketed'
  2. "Within their own territory, the Member States in which a food is marketed may stipulate that the particulars shall be given in one or more languages from among the official languages of the Union."
  3. "Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not preclude the particulars from being indicated in several languages."

This usually means a requirement to translate into the official language of each member state, as follows (EU / EEA states):

  • Austria - German (DE)        
  • Belgium - Dutch (NL) or French (FR)    
  • Bulgaria - Bulgarian (BG)        
  • Croatia - Croatian (HR)        
  • Cyprus - Greek (EL) or Turkish (TR) or English (EN)
  • Czech Republic - Czech (CS)        
  • Denmark - Danish (DA)        
  • Estonia - Estonian (ET)        
  • Finland - Finnish (FI) or Swedish (SV)    
  • France - French (FR)        
  • Germany - German (DE)        
  • Greece - Greek (EL)        
  • Hungary - Hungarian (HU)        
  • Iceland - Icelandic (IS) (EEA)
  • Ireland - Gaelic (GA) / English (Lingua Franca)
  • Italy - Italian (IT)        
  • Latvia - Latvian (LV)
  • Liechtenstein - German (DE) (EEA)
  • Lithuania - Lithuanian (LT)        
  • Luxembourg - French (FR) or German (DE) (Luxembourgish)
  • Malta - Maltese (MT) or English (EN)    
  • Netherlands - Dutch (NL)        
  • Norway - Norwegian (NO) (EEA)
  • Poland - Polish (PL)        
  • Portugal - Portuguese (PT)      
  • Romania - Romanian (RO) 
  • Slovakia - Slovak (SK)
  • Slovenia - Slovene (SL)        
  • Spain - Spanish (ES)        
  • Sweden - Swedish (SV)        
  • Switzerland - German (DE) or French (FR) or Italian (IT) (single market) (other legislation applies - contact us)
  • United Kingdom - English (EN)    

Combining this with the mandatory nature of nutritional labelling, all products exported to member states must have this key information translated.

Contact Talking Heads, the UK's leading Food & Drink Translation specialists to discuss your translation and compliance requirements. 'Just' translation is not enough - legislatory referencing is essential. Visit our Food & Drink page for more information or contact us.

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