New European food labelling regulations come into force later this year

ACE Group has advised that companies in the food and drink industry could face more claims from consumers as a result of new European food labelling regulations that come into force later this year.

The purpose of the new regulation is to make food labelling easier for consumers to understand. It will streamline and simplify the current legislation on food and nutrition labelling into a single EU regulation. Under the new legislation, all food businesses will be required to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged in catering outlets and shops. Existing legislation on labelling will include changes regarding the inclusion of novel ingredients such as nanotechnology and the types of vegetable oil or other ingredients in pre-packed foods.

Connie Germano, regional technical and underwriting casualty manager for Continental Europe at ACE says, “This important new EU legislation should help reduce the risk of accidental contamination for consumers. As the regulation is rolled out across Europe and public awareness grows, another consequence is that it may drive increased product liability exposure for a wide range of businesses involved in the food production and distribution chain.

“Today a contamination incident can develop into a full-blown crisis for a business almost instantly. At ACE, we believe that comprehensive insurance combined with advance risk assessment, robust food safety systems and crisis management is the best defence.”

Eric Smith, head of food safety and product recall for red24assist says, “The new labelling regulations cover a wide range of foods, including beverages and wine, and require statutory information on water and fat content of specific foods. Companies and especially smaller and middle market businesses need to navigate the conditions created by the new legislation and be able to effectively manage the changing risks they face.”

ACE has offered contaminated product insurance for middle-market companies in Continental Europe since 2012 providing a combination of liability insurance, as well as pre-incident risk management advice and 24/7 crisis support following an incident in conjunction with specialist consultancy red24assist.

Losses covered include recall costs (both first and third party depending on class), redistribution costs, product rehabilitation and/ or restoration costs, destruction costs, extortion costs, business interruption costs (following a contamination incident) and crisis consultancy costs.

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