The Wine (Amendment) Regulations 2021
Commencement: 1st January 2022
- The Food Information Regulations 2014
The Food Information Regulations 2014 replace the Food Labelling Regulations 1996. The majority of the requirements of the Regulations must be complied with by 13th December 2014 and they apply to food businesses at all stages of the food chain.
The Regulations transpose the EU Food Information Regulation 1169/2011 (FIR) into English law and are necessary to provide powers to enforce the provisions set out in EU FIR, as well as certain provisions in other EU Regulations and Directive, and to remove any overlapping UK food labelling legislation thus meeting the UK’s legal obligations.
Many of the basic requirements for food labelling from the 1996 Regulations remain the same, as well as the fundamental principle of providing safe food which is honestly described in English on prepackaged food labelling. Therefore, on prepacked food labelling the following information must be present:
- a true name or description of the food,
- the ingredients it contains, in descending weight order,
- how it should be handled, stored, cooked or prepared,
- who manufactured, packed or imported it,
- origin information if its absence would mislead,
- allergenic ingredients identified on the label,
- specific information declaring whether the food is irradiated or contains genetically modified material or aspartame, high caffeine, sweeteners, packaging gases, phytosterols etc,
- net quantity in grams, kilograms, litres or centilitres, and
- alcoholic strength where there is more than 1.2% alcohol by volume.
Article 44 of the EU Regulation states national measures for non-prepacked food. The main changes affecting food sold loose or sold directly to the consumer by the person packing the food (known as prepacked for direct sale) are:
- It must be declared to consumers if the food contains any of the named 14 allergenic ingredients through labels, shelf edge, menus or verbally on request by the consumer. It is no longer enough to say that all food for sale may contain allergens. Allergen information must be specific to the food, complete and accurate.
The 14 substances or products causing allergies or intolerances are: fish, crustaceans, molluscs, nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soybeans, celery (including celeriac) , mustard, sesame seeds, lupin, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentrations more than 10mg/kg) and finally cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut)
- It is no longer a requirement to declare the presence of additives.
- The national measure remains that the name of the food should be provided for on non-prepacked food.
The main changes are outlined below.
- Everyone in the supply chain must ensure mandatory information is available on the food labelling or in commercial documents (such as delivery documents or invoices).
- Previously nutritional information was only required where a claim such as ‘low in fat’ was used, however it is now mandatory even where no such claims are used. Therefore information such as energy, fat, carbohydrates, protein and salt must be presented as shown in the table in Annex XV of the EU Regulation.
- The height of the letter ‘x’ in the chosen font must not be less than 1.2mm.
- The use of a ‘contains: followed by a list of allergens’ statement will no longer be permitted. Allergenic ingredients must be emphasised in the ingredients list by font, style of colour.
- Country of origin labelling has been extended to the meat of pigs, sheep, goats and poultry.
Improvement notices may be issued by officers where there has been a failure to comply with any of the provisions listed in the Regulations. The improvement notice will specify what measures are needed to be compliant and date by which these must be put in place. Any person who fails to comply with an improvement notice commits an offence. A person found guilty of an offence under these Regulations is liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000). Appeals can be made to the First-tier Tribunal.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has produced this guidance document of how to comply with the Regulations.
Following the United Kingdom’s (UK) departure from the EU Single Market and Custom Union, the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) now sets out the basis for wine trade between Great Britain (GB) and the European Union (EU). These changes facilitate meeting the UK’s legal obligation in regard to wine trade, specifically adjusting rules concerning lot making and import and export certification arrangements for wine products. They also put transitional marketing arrangements in place.
There are no environmental or occupational health and safety duties for organisations.
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