Change is coming: Food & Drink Labelling Regulations - Your Product Must Be Compliant by Dec 2014!

In Dec 2014, and again in Dec 2016 the regulations regarding food labelling will be changing.  For the 2014 changes, then there isn’t really a great deal of changes to be made.  In 2016 the law will make it mandatory to have nutritional information on the label of your food and drink products.  This may well put new producers off of entering the market as there will likely be a fair few £ being required to be spent on this.

The Dec 2014 changes are far simpler.  Simply put they require that any of the 14 allergens identified & listed in the EU FIR 1169/2011 document to be highlighted in the list of ingredients, and not as previously allowed in a separate allergens advice statement such as “contains milk & nuts”.  The one exception to this rule is for alcoholic products where ingredients are not required, in which case a statement such as “contains sulphites” is acceptable.

The list consists of cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, nuts, soybeans, milk, celery, mustard, sesame, lupin and sulphur dioxide at levels above 10mg/kg, or 10 mg/litre, expressed as SO2.

From the Food & Drink Federation’s Labelling Toolkit:

“Fourteen major food allergens must be emphasised in the ingredients list.  These are: cereals containing gluten, crustaceans (e.g. prawns  or crab), molluscs (e.g. clams or mussels), eggs, fish, peanuts,  nuts, soybeans, milk, celery, mustard, sesame, lupin and sulphur dioxide. Where the allergen is not obvious from the name of the ingredient, there will be a clear reference to the name of the allergen next to the ingredient e.g. ‘casein’ (milk) or ‘tofu’ (soya).  Food businesses can choose the method of emphasis that they would like to use, for example, bold, italics, highlighting, contrasting colours, CAPITALISING TEXT and underlining.  An allergy advice statement may also be used to direct consumers to the ingredients list for allergen information. 

No more references to gluten!  Consumers will instead need to look for the cereals containing gluten, such as wheat, rye and barley, which will be emphasised in the ingredients list.”