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Current Issues

14 July 2011 : New EU labelling regulations

New EU labelling regulations

It is reported that Member of European Parliaments (MEPs) approved a new regulation on labelling which the labels have to identify a food's energy content as well as fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugar, protein and salt levels, in a way that makes consumers easy to read. 

The aim of the new regulation is to provide more and better information to consumers, to make informed choices when buying. 

According to the new rules, the energy content and amounts of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt shall be stated in a legible tabular form on the packaging, together and in the same field of vision. And this information shall be expressed per 100g or per 100ml. In addition, it may also be expressed per portion. 

More information on the current and new rules:

It is further described on important aspects as the followings:  

Current rules

New rules

Allergic substances


- all ingredients - including allergenic substances - must be indicated on the labels of pre-packed foods.

- they will have to be highlighted in the ingredient list for easier for consumers to see if a product contains allergenic substances.

- information on allergens shall be given for non-packaged foods, for example on food sold in restaurants or canteens. 


Origin of certain foods


- certain foods such as beef, honey, olive oil and fresh fruit and vegetables - already has to be shown on the label. This also applies where the failure to do so would mislead the consumer.

-this rule will be extended to fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goat and poultry, at Parliament's request. The Commission will have to introduce implementing rules for this purpose within two years of the regulation's entry into force.


Country of origin



it could be extended to other categories of food (such as meat when used as an ingredient, milk or unprocessed foods) but the Commission must first do impact assessments to weigh up the feasibility and potential costs of doing this.


From the report, it is explained that the new rules will also ensure that consumers are not misled by the appearance, description or pictorial presentation of food packaging. 


In addition, it is expected that it will be easy to spot "imitation foods" - foods that look similar to other foods but are made of different ingredients, such as "cheese-like" foods made with vegetable products. Where an ingredient that would normally be expected has been replaced, this will have to be clearly stated on the front of the pack in a prominent font size and next to the brand name. Meat consisting of combined meat parts must be labelled "formed meat". The same will apply to "formed fish".


Significantly, it is noted that food companies are allowed to have 3 years to adapt the rules, except 5 years for the rules on nutrition values


Source: http://food-haccp.blogspot.com/