QeA EU Commission to EU Parliament – Allergens declaration on non pre-packed food

A useful reminder of the Commission on a principle that was not so clearly expressed into the legislation and still is not accepted by all the mass caterers and restaurants. See the last sentence in bold.

Question for written answer to the Commission – 5th June 2018 

Some of my constituents have alerted me to the fact that some Member States are apparently not requiring allergen information to be provided in restaurants and other food outlets. In order to determine whether these states are in breach of EC law, clarification is needed on the interpretation of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, which sets out the EU’s rules on consumer information on allergens in non-prepacked food.

On 13 July 2017, the Commission issued a notice updating allergen information requirements.

Under Article 9(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, food business operators are required to provide allergen information, including for non-prepacked food.

Article 44 authorises Member States to adopt national measures concerning the means through which this information is made available. Member States are required to notify the Commission when such measures have been adopted.

Given that the regulation is being applied differently from one Member State to another:

  1. Is the Commission assessing the national measures in order to determine whether they are consistent with the meaning and purpose of the regulation and whether Member States have gone beyond the terms of authorisation granted to them?
  2. What are the criteria for assessing how well consumers are being alerted to the presence of allergens?
  3. Can Member States, in the context of their national measures, choose to disregard the obligations set out in Article 13 of the regulation in the case of non-prepacked food and provide allergen information only when requested by consumers?

Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission – 16th July

Under Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, Member States may adopt national measures concerning the means through which information on allergens on non-prepacked foods is to be made available.

In principle, all means of communication as regards the provision of allergen information are allowed to enable the consumer to make an informed choice, e.g. a label, other accompanying material, or any other means including modern technology tools or verbal communication (i.e. verifiable oral information). In this respect, the majority of the Member States have already adopted such national rules following their prior notification to the Commission.

In the context of the aforesaid notifications, the draft national measures in question have been evaluated by the Commission in the light of the relevant EU provisions, including Article 13 of the regulation.

In particular, it has been assessed whether the information on allergens is available and easily accessible, so the consumer is informed that the non-prepacked food raises issues relating to allergens and intolerances. In this context, it is not compliant with the EU legislation to provide allergen information only upon request by the consumer.

(Source: EU Parliament)

MSU Food Regulation in Latin America Online Course – Enroll now with a special discount

Michigan State University Food Regulation in Latin America course will be available online in Spanish and in English for Fall 2018 semester, starting on 29th August 2019.
I joined the IFLR team as guest instructor and I will lead 2 modules of the program on WTO and international standards. I am most honored and deeply grateful to Neal Fortin and Kris DeAngelo for giving me this great opportunity.
Brand-new course is perfect for students throughout the world who either prefer Spanish or who were previously unable to take our course due to the language barrier.
This course is designed also for working professionals and  presents current food issues, laws and regulations that impact Latin America. Food law topics including risk assessment, risk management, risk communication, food safety, international trade, and international entities such as FAO/WHO, WTO, and Codex Alimentarius will be highlighted.
In addition, detailed market specific information regarding labeling, additives, claims, and adulteration in Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Brazil as well as various Central American and Caribbean countries will be presented.
We are now completing the rosters and for the earliest subscribers to the Spanish taught version will be available a discount on tuition feesmentioning that you are Food Law Latest readers.
Write to IFLR@msu.edu for details on the program and tuition fees.
See you online!