The Italian Law against food waste

Today I receive and publish an interesting article about the Italian food waste law recently issued: it allows food business operators to donate to other entities foodstuffs remained unsold, also if they passed the “best before” date (never the “use by”) and if they cannot be sold due to non compliant labels (beside errors on allergens and “use by” date). The contribute comes from Mariagrazia Semprebon – AgriLegal Consulting.

On 14th September 2016, in Italy, it came into effect the Law No. 166/2016, concerning provisions on the donation and distribution of food and pharmaceutical to limit food waste. The standard, once approved definitively, was published in the Official Journal of the Italian Republic on the 30th of August 2016.

This Act pursues the purpose “to reduce waste for each of the stages of production, processing, distribution and administration of food, pharmaceuticals and other products, through the implementation of some priorities”.

The rule is followed by a list of these priorities:

  • Promoting recovery and donation of food surpluses for solidarity purpose;
  • Promoting recovery and donation of pharmaceuticals and other products for solidarity purpose;
  • Contributing to limit the negative impacts on environment and natural resources, reducing the production of waste and promoting reuse and recycling to extend the products life cycle;
  • Contributing to achieve of the general objectives set by the National Waste Prevention Program” (who was adopted pursuant Article 180, paragraph 1-bis of the Decree Legislative April 3, 2006, No. 152) and by the “National Food Waste Prevention Plan” contained therein, and contributing to the “reduction of the amount” of biodegradable waste presently consigned for landfill sites;
  • Contributing to information, consumer awareness (with particular reference to younger generations) and research on the matters within the scope of this law.

What can be donated?

  • Food, agricultural and agri-food goods that remain unsold or discarded from the food supply chain for commercial or aesthetic reasons, or proximity to the expiry date;
  • Food products that have passed the date of minimum durability, if the packaging integrity and suitable storage conditions are guaranteed.

The destination of the goods suitable for human consumption should be provided to the poorest citizens, the destination of the goods non-suitable for human consumption should be used for animal consumption and/or composting.

For single donation below € 15.000 and in any case if the donor donates perishable foodstuff, it is not required any official document for the validity of the donation. If the donation of greater value does not regard perishable foodstuff, an official electronic communication must be sent to the financial administration offices, indicating date, time and place of goods destination and their total value.

Other important documents to provide are:

  • A transport document serially numbered or an equivalent document;
  • A quarterly statement by the beneficiary on the use of the goods.

Municipalities can apply a special reduction on waste tax to the companies that make these donations.

The Law states also that it is possible for receiving associations to collect free agricultural products directly from the farmers. These donations are carried out by and under the responsibility of the receiving association or non-profit organization. As we have seen the Italian law on the donation of food waste, unlike the French Law No. 138/2016, does not impose the donation of food waste to processors and supermarkets, but establishes several incentives, rationalizations and simplifications for donors and donees.

Food recalls in EU – Week 18 – 2014

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have three recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notification:

– Food additives and flavourings: too high content of sulphite in sauce, following an official control on the market. Origin Thailand, notified by Denmark;

– Foreign bodies: glass fragments in ice shakes, following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified by Germany, distributed also to Belgium;

– Mycotoxins: deoxynivalenol (DON) in corn cakes, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified by France.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

– Incorrect labelling: undeclared presence of gluten and peanut in flavoured cereal bars, following an official control on the market. Origin United Kingdom, notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Malta and Spain;

– Industrial contaminants: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smoked sprats in oil, following an official control on the market. Origin Latvia, notified by Latvia, distributed also to Lithuania;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in madras curry powder, following an official control on the market. Origin India (via United Kingdom), notified by Germany;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in garlic cracker nuts, following an official control on the market. Origin Philippines (via Germany), notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in cracker nuts, following an official control on the market. Origin Philippines (via Germany), notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Shigatoxin producing Escherichia Coli in chilled unboned veal meat (vacuum packaged), following an official control on the market. Origin Netherlands, notified by Italy;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in raw goat milk cheese, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Typhimurium in frozen turkey shoulders, following company’s own check. Origin Italy, notified by France;

Residues of veterinary medicinal products: residue level above MRL for sulfadiazine in porc meat, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Germany, Netherlands and Poland.

In the wake of the Horsemeat scandal we have an interesting alert notification for:

– Residues of veterinary medicinal products: phenylbutazone and oxyphenylbutazone in horse meat, following an official control on the market. Origin Ireland, notified by Ireland, distributed also to Belgium, France and Netherlands.

Regarding border rejections we have, among the others, Salmonella Spp. in frozen salted chicken breast from Argentina, in frozen salted chicken half breasts and fillets from Brazil, Salmonella Mbandaka in hulled sesame seeds from India, Salmonella in paan/betel leaves from India, unauthorised use of colour E 110 – Sunset Yellow FCF in biscuits different flavours from the Dominican Republic, unsuitable transport conditions (rusty and deteriorated barrels) for honey from Moldova, omethoate and dimethoate in fresh green beans from Kenya, malathion in fresh peppers from Turkey, improper health certificate(s) for okra from India, aflatoxins in bitter apricot kernels from Uzbekistan (dispatched from Turkey), absence of health certificate(s) for corn sticks from China, parasitic infestation with Anisakis of chilled silver scabbardfish from Morocco and prohibited substance chloramphenicol in frozen dried shrimp mix from Myanmar.

For feed, we have an alert notification, followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Poor or insufficient controls: hay unfit for animal nutrition (detected Colchicum), following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified by Netherlands.

For food contact materials we have two alert notification, followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Migration of primary aromatic amines from solid spoons, following an official control on the market. Origin Netherlands (via United Kingdom), notified by Ireland;

– Migration of primary aromatic amines from spaghetti ladle, following an official control on the market. Origin United Kingdom, notified by Ireland.

We have also a border rejection for migration of melamine from melamine plates from China.

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