FSAI opens consultation on ‘small quantities’ nutrition labelling
19 July 2016 • Author(s): Victoria White, Digital Content Producer
A national consultation has been launched by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to seek views on EU regulations that allow some prepacked food products to be exempt from displaying nutrition information.
From 16 December 2016, EU Regulations will require that most prepacked food products must provide mandatory nutritional information to enable consumers to make more informed choices when purchasing food. However, the Regulation does provide a number of exceptions, one of which is the manufacture of small quantities of foods that are supplied directly by the manufacturer to the consumer or to local retailers. This consultation seeks opinions from interested parties to assist define ‘small quantities of product’.
EU Regulation (No1169/2011) on the provision of food information to the consumer provides a list of foods that are exempt from mandatory nutritional labelling. Included in this list is ‘food, including handcrafted food, directly supplied by the manufacturer of small quantities of products to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer.’
No current definition for ‘small quantities’
The EU has not defined ‘small quantities of products’ or ‘local’ in the legislation and have advised that each Member State must provide a definition in their local market. Irish law has an accepted definition for ‘local’, however; no such precedent exists to define ‘small quantities’. The primary aim of this consultation is to determine such a definition to provide certainty and assist compliance among food businesses when the legislation comes into effect.
Commenting on the consultation, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, said: “We actively encourage all interested parties to submit their views via the online consultation, so that their opinion and position can be taken into consideration when the definition is being formulated. The views submitted will assist in making a more informed decision in relation to the final definition for ‘small quantities’ in Ireland. This definition will be ultimately transposed into Irish law and is likely to have an impact on food producers and retailers.”
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