Topic 1 Mandatory Aspects of Food Safety in the EU

The European Food Safety System has some of the highest standards worldwide (EC, n.d.3). The European Food Law, first established in 2002, ensures the consumers’ rights to safe food and true information (EC, n.d.). The aim of these regulations is to protect the consumers and to assist them in making conscious choices when purchasing food (ibid.).

According to the European Commission’s 2020 Report (EU, 2020), food business operators are obliged to “[…] display, on a mandatory basis, details about energy, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, and salt on the FOP of prepacked processed foods”.

The EU Regulation No 1169/2011 focuses on the establishment of a set of rules regarding the food operators’ responsibilities and information and labelling protocols to ensure the consumers’ rights. This regulation is applicable along with each EU Member State’s national rules.

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Food packaging

According to the EU regulations (EC, n.d.), food business operators must provide consumers the following information regarding prepacked foods:

  • Food name
  • Ingredients list (including all ingredients in descending order of weight, as recorded at the time of their use in the manufacture of the food and the allergens)
  • Quantity of certain ingredients
  • Food net quantity
  • Minimum durability date
  • Storage and/or use instructions
  • Name and address of the food business operator
  • Country of origin
  • Alcoholic strength by volume (for beverages containing more than 1.2% w/v)
  • Nutritional declaration

For non-prepacked foods, information on allergens is also mandatory.

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