Topic 3 EU Law on Food Information to Consumers

The General EU Food Regulation (No 178/2002) was adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2002 (EC, n.d.a). Its aim is to protect human life and citizens’ rights related to food (ibid.). In 2011, the EC published a Regulation (No 1169/2011) to establish citizens’ rights to reliable information and safe food (EU, n.d.b). This regulation sets the general rules and requirements for food labelling and aims to provide information about the ingredients of comestible products (including allergens) (ibid.). It is mandatory for food operators at all levels to provide information about the ingredients of food articles whether they are prepacked or not. Additionally, the FIC (Food Information to Consumers) regulation foresees mandatory display of nutrients on the labels of prepacked processed foods (EC, 2020).

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Regarding food labelling, the Regulation No 1169/2011 provides a set of rules for food handlers and operators. In the table below, the mandatory particulars for prepacked food are listed as presented in the Commission’s website (EC, n.d.a).

Prepacked Food
Food name
Ingredients list
Allergen indication (event if in altered form)
Net food quantity
“Best before” or “Use by” date
Use and/or storage conditions
Food business operator name
Country of origin or place of provenance
Necessary instructions of use
Actual alcoholic strength by volume for beverages containing more than 1.2% w/v
Nutrition information

EU Member States are required to inform about allergens’ presence in non-prepacked foods or foods that are packed upon purchase on the sale premises (EC, n.d.a). They also have the right to implement additional national rules (ibid.).

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