In December 2014, legislation was introduced in the UK that has had a huge impact on all businesses involved in the food service industry, further changes to regulations are expected to happen in 2019 with Britain’s exit from Europe looming.
In its simplest form, the food label is the main way in which businesses communicate product information to their customers. Therefore, we believe it is of paramount importance that your labels are designed to not only provide an enticing read for potential new consumers, but also to assist them in understanding the key ingredient, nutritional and safety information they need to know about your product.
New food labelling regulations involve changes to the way food business operators can label and describe their food to consumers on packaging.
Officially referred to as the ‘EU Food Information Regulations No 1169/2011’ or ‘FIR’ for short, these new laws have been released to streamline current labelling legislation across the whole of Europe and ensure consumers are provided with an informed choice when buying food.
Existing rules on general food labelling will be combined with all nutritional regulations, making one universal piece of legislation that will become mandatory in late 2016. Also, the European Commission has indicated there are still some additional legislative requirements to be agreed that specifically relate to information on products, but no timescale has yet been provided as to when these new rules will be officially introduced. It is important to keep your business updated from industry bodies to ensure that you have the most up-to-date guidance.
The biggest change is the introduction of a minimum font size for mandatory labelling text, along with mandatory nutrition information and the requirement to highlight allergens in the list of ingredients.
For the first time rules have been introduced on the declaration of voluntary nutrition signposts. Certain product-specific requirements are also introduced, including minced meat regulations, flour fortification, so-called ‘imitation foods’ and nano ingredients.
These new regulations apply to any organisation that is involved with the food industry, from small scale manufacturers to mass caterers, meaning there has been widespread change to many food business operators and their processes.
Breach of these regulations can be a serious matter, potentially resulting in local or national product withdrawal, or criminal proceedings along with damage to brand reputation not to mention significant costs should an incident occur.
Do you know the 14 allergen groups? Read about them here.
You can read our previous weeks blog post Ultimate Heats 10 ways to prevent food poisoning.
We offer free technical pre-sales advice, if you are not 100% certain what options best for your business, please give us a call, email or live chat via the website and our technical team will offer you advice. Call: +44 (0) 1854 611 222