Food Information Regulations

As of the 13th December 2014, new legislation has come into effect that will impact all foodservice operators. This legislation is called EU Food Information for Consumer Regulation No 1169/2011 (FIC). This regulation is defined in the UK, under British law, as the Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR). It will impact the way Reynolds and our suppliers label and describe food on packaging.

Why do we need these new regulations?

There are an estimated 21 million adults in the UK who suffer from at least one allergy. That said, many food businesses have little or no knowledge of allergens and are unaware of the legal ramifications.

The legislation will ensure that allergens are clearly labelled and that consistent standards are met. Failure to comply with the requirements may result in prosecution or a large fine being brought towards the food operator.

As of the 13th December 2014 there is a requirement in place for all providers of food, including food sold without packaging, to provide accurate allergen information to consumers. Allergen information must be available and easily accessible to the consumer before a purchase is concluded.

Allergen information provided needs to accurately reflect the product or dish being served and should also include a risk assessment of any allergen cross-contamination within your premises.

How do these regulations affect you, and what information must you provide?

The new legislation requires that all allergen information is available to the end user.

  • The 14 major allergens must be clearly identified (usually in bold) on pre-packaged foods.
  • Food operators must provide allergen information for prepared food, food sold without packaging and for food that is wrapped on site. Information needs to be provided in writing or verbally and backed up in writing. If there is a high risk of contamination then food should be declared as ‘may contain.’
  • When food is sold at a distance (e.g. take away) allergen information must be provided verbally or in writing before the purchase is completed and then in writing when delivered.
  • All verbal statements must be backed up in writing.

What must I not do?

You cannot state that you don’t know if an allergen is present. You must be able to state whether the allergen is present and whether the product has been at risk of cross-contamination.

Information must be precise and maintained in line with menu and product changes. You cannot state that all food ‘could’ contain allergens.

How can Reynolds support you to ensure compliance with the new Food Information Regulations?

Reynolds has in-house technical capabilities well suited to meet the needs of all of our customers. We have been preparing for the Food Information Regulations since they were first being discussed, and are here to help you with any questions you have. For information on how we can assist you, please contact customer services on 01992 809200 or email customer.services@reynolds-cs.com.

For more information and advice on food labelling visit the Food Standards Agency website.

http://www.food.gov.uk/

Additional guidance can be found here:

The Food Standards Agency Labelling website

Local Trading Standards Officers

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs