FSA in Northern Ireland highlights new labelling rules

From 13 December 2016, Northern Irish businesses selling pre-packed foods are required to display mandatory nutrition declarations. This requirement relates to the mandatory nutrition panel on food packaging, which requires the energy value (displayed as kJ/kcal) and the amounts of fat, saturates, carbohydrate, sugars, protein and salt provided per 100g or per 100ml.

Additional nutrients may be provided also including fibre and vitamins and minerals. This means that if you sell pre-packed food then you must include the nutrition information on the package or on the label.

Businesses should already be aware of the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 which came into effect in 2011 with the majority of the requirements of the new legislation applying to pre-packed foods on 13 December 2014.

Esther Chartres, senior advisor for standards at the FSA in Northern Ireland is urging the local food industry to implement these new European labelling rules.

“We have produced a useful leaflet and Q&A document to help businesses meet the mandatory requirements set out in EU legislation. Businesses in the food manufacturing, retailing and the catering sectors and particularly those with responsibility for food labels and product promotion should ensure they read and become familiar with the new rules as soon as possible,” she says.

‘We would also encourage food businesses to talk to their local environmental health officers if they have questions on compliance. Information can also be found on the FSA’s website www.food.gov.uk/labellingtraining.”

There are certain foods exempted from the requirement to provide nutrition labelling. The nutrition labelling requirements and foods that are exempt from nutrition labelling are contained in the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011, which can be found here.

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