The new EU Food Information Regulation 1169/2011
(FIR), which will be directly applicable in all member states, was
published in the Official Journal on 22 November 2011. The
Regulation will replace the existing Food Labelling Directive
2000/13/EC and Directive 90/496/EEC on nutrition labelling.
Transitional arrangements mean that most requirements do not apply
until 2014 and nutrition labelling will become mandatory in
- A minimum font size for the mandatory information on most food
labels will aid clarity.
- Nutrition information will be required in tabular format for
pre-packed food. Energy value and amounts of fat, saturates,
carbohydrates, protein, sugars and salt will need to be indicated
“in the same field of vision” (i.e. not necessarily
front of pack) per 100g or per 100ml, and may additionally be
expressed on a per portion basis.
- Additional mandatory requirements have been included in the
name of the food, including how the food has been processed, if
there is added water, if the product is formed or imitation food,
if to omit such information would mislead.
- If the product has been previously frozen and defrosted before
sale, the name should include “defrosted” unless the
defrosting has no negative impact on the safety or quality of the
- Drinks with high caffeine content will have to be additionally
labelled as not recommended for children or pregnant and
breastfeeding women, with the actual caffeine content
- The types of vegetable oil used in food, such as palm oil, must
- Allergen information will be extended to loose foods and
catering situations with flexibility in how businesses provide this
- Finally, in a product’s presentation there must be
priority of legal information and there is a new requirement of
The FIR sets out a timetable for a number of
Commission Impact Assessments or reports on issues that could not
be sufficiently resolved during the negotiations. These
include certain Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) for meat, energy
values on alcohol labelling and how to deal with trans fats, which
may be accompanied by legislative proposals ‘if
appropriate’. A ‘watching brief’ on these
future developments is recommended for those products that may be
affected by these issues.