SPAIN – Draft Royal Decree on quality standard for flours, meals and other products of cereal milling

Spain notified to the TRIS service (Directive 98/34/EC) of the EU Commission the following draft decree. It intends to establish basic quality standards for the preparation and sale of flours, meals and other products of cereal milling intended for human consumption.

Existing technical sanitary regulations for the preparation, movement and sale of wheat meals and flours and other milling products thereof, for human consumption, date from 1984. Given the changes undergone by the sector for the manufacture and sale of cereal meals and flours since then, and the hygiene and sanitary changes that have had to be made to adapt the content of said regulations to horizontal Community provisions relating to foodstuffs, said standard needs to be reviewed and updated, primarily to expand the scope to cover all cereals, not just wheat, include new product names and amend the terms used in certain existing names.

End of the standstill period: 28th December 2015.

Regarding mandatory information it states that (art. 5 par. 2):

a) The legal description of the products covered by Article 2(5) to (17) shall be as indicated in each section and by a combination of same where appropriate. They may include usage instructions or recommendations.

b) The instruction “Keep in a cool dry place off the floor” shall be included on the label.

c) The best-before date shall be accompanied where necessary by a reference to the storage conditions to be observed to ensure conservation until that date.

Regarding voluntary food information, the label may include information on the following:

a) The bread-making quality of the wheat flour, using the descriptions for different types (very strong, strong, medium strength and bread-making) included in the annex, as a function of the characteristics of the flour. This information must be included in the same visual field as the product description.

b) The quality of the fine hard-wheat meals, indicating “superior-quality meal for making pasta” or “meal for other industrial uses”, as provided for in Article 4(2)(c).

c) Any other specific technical or product-quality characteristics, pursuant to the regulations on the labelling of foodstuffs, that can be demonstrated using internationally recognised analytical methods, in order to guide users.

In products intended for industrial use, the mandatory information provided for in this standard and in the applicable regulations on foodstuff labelling may be included exclusively in the commercial documents accompanying the product at the time it is delivered, or before this time, provided that the following is indicated on the packaging or container: “Not intended for retail sale” or “Product intended for industrial use”. In the case of bulk sale for industrial use, the information required pursuant to this article must be included in the related shipping documentation.

Allergens labelling on non-prepacked food. Notification to TRIS from Greece

Notification of the draft joint ministerial decision concerning the adoption of national implementing measures for Article 44 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the labelling of allergens on non-prepacked food.

Notification Number : 2014/120/GR  
Date received : 13-Mar-2014
End of Standstill Period : 16-Jun-2014

Summary :

This decision is the basis for ensuring a high level of consumer protection concerning substances or products causing allergies or intolerances in non-prepacked food, while also taking into account the problem-free operation of the internal market.

The provisions of this decision apply to: (a) foods sold in a non-prepacked manner to final consumers, (b) foods intended to be delivered non-prepacked to mass caterers and businesses that package and sell food on a retail basis, or sell food on a retail basis in order for it to be provided non-prepacked to the final consumer, (c) foods made available for sale in a non-prepacked manner, following distance communication.

More specifically, this decision relates to all food business operators and all stages of the food chain, provided their activities are associated with providing food information to consumers and the food or food ingredients they manufacture, distribute, etc., are intended to be sold to one of the following food businesses:
(i) mass caterers as defined in Article 2(1)(b) of this decision.
(ii) businesses that package and sell food on a retail basis such as patisseries, bakeries, ice cream shops, etc., and
(iii) businesses that sell food on a retail basis such as supermarkets, grocery stores, open air markets, etc.

More details at the following address :
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/nview.cfm?p=2014_120_EN_EN

Here below the most interesting articles of the proposal:

Article 5.Presentation of mandatory information to the final consumer

1. The mandatory particulars referred to Article 9(1)(c) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 and Article 3(2) hereof (substances or products causing allergies or intolerances) must be directly available and accessible at the place where non-prepacked food is sold / offered or in the case of distance selling before the food is purchased. The information must be clearly legible and must be provided to the consumer before the food is sold / provided. The information must necessarily be provided in the Greek language, but multi-lingual versions of the information are permitted.

2. The particulars referred to in paragraph 1 may not be given orally unless all three conditions below are met:

a) There is a sign at an obvious location at the business, which is easily visible and accessible, referring to the location where the information is available or there is a sign inviting the consumer to talk to the business’ staff in order to learn about substances or products causing allergies or intolerances in the food sold.

b) The particulars referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article must also be available in printed or electronic format at the business where the food is being sold, so that they are easily accessible to the consumer, to staff and to competent authorities carrying out inspections, upon request.

c) The particulars referred to in paragraph 1 must always be provided before the food is sold / provided to the consumer and always at the place where the food is being sold, by suitably trained staff or via some electronic medium, without this entailing any cost to the consumer.

3. In cases of distance selling, before the order is placed the consumer must be notified that the information itself is available or that there is some indication necessarily referring to the information, or the notification must be provided via telephone message, or on the business’ website, if one exists.

4. The use of symbols referring to the presence or otherwise of substances or products causing allergies or intolerances is not prohibited provided that this is accompanied  / supplemented by the name of the substance or product as shown in Annex II of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011.

5. In all events, the information referred to in Article 3 must be immediately revised by the business in all cases of a change in the composition of the product.

6. A non-exhaustive list of the methods for presenting the mandatory information referred to in Article 3 is presented in the Annex to this Decision.

Article 6.Demonstrating that information about non-prepacked food not sold directly to final consumers has been provided

In the case of food intended to be delivered as non-prepacked food to mass caterers and businesses that package and sell food on a retail basis, or sell food on a retail basis only, in order to be provided on a non-prepacked basis to final consumers, the mandatory particulars required by Article 9(1)(c) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (substances or products causing allergies or intolerances) must be sent in a documented manner. The said mandatory particulars can be written on the food packaging or a label affixed to it, or provided in writing or electronically or using any other available medium. In all events it is essential to ensure that the information is sent before the food is made available to the consumer.

Article 7.Obligations of food business operators

1. Food business operators at businesses that are under their control must ensure that the information about non-prepacked food intended for the final consumer or for delivery to mass caterers is sent in a documented manner to the food business operator who receives the food, so that it is possible, when necessary, to provide mandatory information about the food to final consumers.

2.  The method of presenting the information required by Article 9(1)(c) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (substances or products causing allergies or intolerances) is the responsibility of the operator at the food business which makes the food available to the final consumer. In all events, the mandatory particulars must comply with the specifications in Article 5(1) to (5) inclusive.