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.
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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.
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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.