Since the end of 2014, the so-called Food information regulation (FIC) has been intended to ensure improved and consistent labelling of food in the EU. Since 2016, the labelling of nutritional information has also been standardised. As “food business operators at all stages of the food chain […] whose activities relate to the provision of food information to consumers”, the regulation also applies to contract catering.
Allergen labelling according to the Food information regulation
The following 14 allergens and the respective products derived from them are considered to be subject to labelling requirements:
- Cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts,
- soya beans, milk, nuts, celery, mustard, mustard seeds,
- sulphur dioxide/sulphites, lupins, molluscs.
With our qnips dashboard, you can simplify food labelling by adding allergens and nutritional information with just a few clicks. Use your own icons or the allergen icons provided by qnips for free.
Clear labelling of food
According to the Food Information Regulation, obligatory information must continue to be printed in a font of at least 1.2 mm. Unless the packaging is smaller than half a postcard, in which case a size of 0.9mm applies. The labelling of the food is clearly regulated and should clarify the exact nature and specifications of the product.
Details of ingredients
Ingredients should be listed by quantity – including additives and flavourings with class name and clear name or E-number. The 14 allergens must be printed in bold type or highlighted by a different font or style or background colour.
Since the LMIV came into force, a nutritional value table with the “Big 7” has also been mandatory. These include calorific value, fat, saturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, sugar, protein and salt. If vitamins and dietary fibres are indicated on the packaging, they must also be listed in the nutrition table.
Food imitations must also be labelled. Likewise, refined vegetable oils and fats, including their origin. In the case of alcoholic beverages, the actual alcohol content, also in % vol., must be indicated if the alcohol content exceeds 1.2 % vol. For beverages containing caffeine, a warning must be visible unless the food name contains the words “coffee” or “tea”.
According to the Food Information Regulation, mandatory information also includes the net filling quantity, a best-before or use-by date and the company address and name. The origin of the food must also be indicated if, for example, the packaging could otherwise mislead the consumer. All types of pork, sheep, goat and poultry meat must always be labelled. If the meat is frozen, the date of freezing must also be indicated. Since 1 April 2020, the origin of the primary ingredient must also be indicated if it does not correspond to the stated place of origin of the food. For foods where it may not be possible to ensure safe use (for example, baking mixes), instructions for use must also be clearly printed on the package.
As you can see, there are numerous labelling obligations to be respected! If you are looking for more detailed information on the LMIV, you can find it here. It is also supplemented by the Food Information Implementation Regulation.
Last updated 06.07.2021; Source: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture Germany
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