February 13, 2014

 

EU to require origin labelling of unprocessed meat
 

 

The new EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers now requires mandatory origin labelling of unprocessed meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry effective December 13, 2014.

 

Other changes to the existing legislation on food labelling include mandatory nutrition information on processed foods; highlighting allergens like peanuts or milk in the list of ingredients; better legibility such as minimum size of text; and requirements on information on allergens also cover non pre-packed foods including those sold in restaurants and cafés.

 

The obligation to provide nutrition information will apply from December 13, 2016. The new law combines two directives into one legislation: 2000/13/EC - labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs; and 90/496/EEC - nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.

 

On December 17, 2013, the Commission adopted a report for the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for meat used as an ingredient. The Commission report is accompanied by a Commission Staff Working Document - "Origin labelling for meat used as an ingredient: consumers' attitude, feasibility of possible scenarios and impacts" (SWD(2013)437), which provides detailed information underpinning the findings of the Commission report.

 

Both the Commission report and the accompanied Commission Staff Working Document are mainly based on the results of an external study commissioned by DG SANCO by the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC), titled "Study on the application of rules on voluntary origin labelling of foods and on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance of meat used as an ingredient".

 

By December 13, 2013, the Commission must implementing acts on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance for unprocessed meat of swine, poultry, sheep and goats after an impact assessment. The Commission has commissioned an external study to do so. It will also adopt implementing acts on the application of "voluntary origin" labelling of foods after an impact assessment. The Commission has launched an external study on the application of rules on "voluntary origin" labelling of foods and on the mandatory indication of country of origin or place of provenance of meat used as an ingredient.

 

By December 13, 2014, the Commission must submit reports to the European Parliament and the Council regarding the mandatory indication of the country of origin or place of provenance for the following foods such as types of meat other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry; milk and milk used as an ingredient in dairy products; unprocessed foods; single ingredient products; and ingredients which constitute over 50% of a food.

 

Concerning unprocessed foods, single ingredient products and ingredients which constitute over 50% of a food, the Commission has launched an external study.

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