Requirements for the food information regulations 2013
By Philip Pearman MIFST, FRSPH
These general Labelling regulations come into force after 13th December 2014, the essence of the regulations are:
- All pre-packed foods must be labelled and the wording must include:- Name of the Food, An ingredient list, Information on allergens or intolerances used in the food or that were used in its manufacture or preparation, The quantity of certain ingredients (QUID), The net quantity of the food, A date mark, Special storage conditions e.g. Keep frozen, store at -18OC or below. Name of the business and address, Country of origin or provenance.
- The sources of allergens must be highlighted in print or underlined in the ingredient list.
- These allergens are Cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, fish, eggs, peanuts, soya beans, milk, nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut cashew, pecan, brazil pistachio, macadamia and Queensland), celery, mustard, sesame seeds, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at levels above 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/l expressed as SO2), molluscs and lupins.
- For example the ingredient list before the regulations might look like this:- Milk, Sugar, Skimmed Milk Powder, Emulsifier: Lecithin; Nuts. And after December should look like this:- Milk, Sugar, Skimmed Milk Powder, Emulsifier: Lecithin (Soya); Nuts (Walnut).
- Any product packed with the old style labels before December 2014 will be allowed to run out through the normal sales outlet.
- Any old style labels you have left over after December 2014, you must contact your local Trading Standards Office to determine whether they may or may not be used.
- Allergen information should also be made available in cafes, mobiles, kiosks etc. this can be printed on menus, tickets, chalk boards, signs or word of mouth from staff.
- If the information is to be given by staff a sign should be placed were the customer can easily view it stating that “If you require any Allergen information, please ask a member of staff”.
- Allergen and Nutritional information provided by ingredients suppliers must also be correct and up to date to give the manufacturers the right information to pass on to the customer.
- Nutritional labelling is voluntary at the moment but becomes compulsory after 13th December 2016.
- If you do put it on your label it has to be in the required format, which are:- Energy kcal/kJ, Fat & Saturates, Carbohydrate & Sugars, Protein, Salt.
- These should be expressed in grams per 100 grams or 100mls.
- The information given on labels and to customers must be accurate and up to date, there is no excuse not to know.
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