Allergen information has been compulsory for all pre-packaged and non-pre-packed foods since December 2014, under the European Union Food Information Regulation 2014. However, within new legislation, nutritional labelling will also become compulsory from December 2016. This is only applicable for pre-packaged foods, so will not impact caterers.
Nutrition declaration for pre-packed foods
A nutrition declaration (commonly referred to as ‘back of pack’ nutrition labelling) must be provided on most pre-packed food from 13 December 2016.
This comprises of the energy value plus the amounts of fat, saturates, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt in the product. The content of the mandatory nutrition declaration may be supplemented with the amounts of one or more of the following: mono-unsaturates; polyunsaturates; polyols; starch; fibre; vitamins or minerals present in significant amounts.
FoP or ‘Front of Packaging’ nutritional labelling (e.g. the traffic light system) will not be included as part of the legislation although it can be provided on a voluntary basis. Nutritional information must be expressed as per 100g or per 100ml of the food: per portion can be listed in addition to per 100g/ 100ml.
Foods exempt from the requirement of the mandatory nutrition declaration include:
unprocessed products that comprise a single ingredient or category of ingredients
processed products which have only been subjected to a single process (maturing) and that comprise a single ingredient or category of ingredients
waters intended for human consumption, including those where the only added ingredients are carbon dioxide and/or flavourings
a herb, a spice or mixtures thereof
salt and salt substitutes
table top sweeteners.
Nutrition declaration for non-packed foods includes “prepacked for direct sale” and “packed at the consumer’s request”
There is no requirement in EU Food Information Regulations for nutritional information to be provided for food sold non-prepacked. If caterers provide information voluntarily, it must be in one of the following formats:
the full “mandatory” nutrition declaration (energy value plus amounts of fat, saturates, carbohydrate, sugars, protein and salt); or
energy value only; or
energy value plus amounts of fat, saturates, sugars and salt (energy + 4).