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Food label, all useful information about the product.

On the subject of labelling, regulations are quite clear and specific. In fact, to be able to choose and buy products, consumers must be provided with all useful information on the products.
The regulations on the labelling of food products are rather copious and sometimes it can be difficult to find all obligations to be complied with. For this reason it is essential to rely on consultants with expertise in this sector, that are able to support FBOs (Food Business Operators) in the appropriate preparation of food labelling.

The reference text is Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 listing the minimum mandatory indications to be reported in food products labelling. This is a regulation, therefore food labelling follows a European regulation that is directly applicable in all EU countries.

The label of a food product should also indicate the name of the food and the name or trade name and address of the Food Business Operator responsible for the product and its safety. In fact, FBOs should always ensure the safety of the food and have in place a HACCP system with the purpose of ensuring the salubrity of the food.

The consumer should also be informed about the food composition, via the list of ingredients (reported in decreasing weight order), where any substance known to cause allergies or intolerances should be highlighted.

Moreover, for some ingredients, the amount might need to be specified while it is always mandatory to indicate the net quantity of the food. Another information is the nutrition declaration indicating the quantities of some nutrients supplied with the consumption of the food; this is therefore very useful to allow consumers to evaluate the correct energy and nutrient daily supply.

Other mandatory information are the “best before” storage indication or the expiry date and any special storage conditions and/or conditions for use. These indications are essential for an appropriate use of the food, and to best maintain its nutritional qualities and features.

It is also required to specify any use instructions in case these are essential for an appropriate use of the concerned food. The Regulation also provides for the indications of the country or place of origin, when required, and the effective alcohol titration for drinks with an alcohol volume of more than 1.2%.

From this general evaluation of the minimum mandatory indications, it is evident that the food labelling law is very complex; along with the already mentioned Regulation (EU) 1169/2011, it is necessary to consider specific national and community rules as well, along with transversal regulations applicable to all products.

Finally, it should be considered that this is a sector under continuous progress and update, and that it is therefore essential to always refer to the latest indications and rules.

Written by: Federica Montozzi

Foto di Igor Ovsyannykov da Pixabay