Legal Update

Regulatory Law – Food Laws – Product Liability – EU Legislation on Food Labelling


On 6 July 2011, MEPs approved the new EU food labelling rules.


According to MEP Renate Sommer (EPP, DE), “the new rules are supposed to provide more and better information to consumers so they can make informed choices when buying.”

The new food labelling regulations require labels to display a food’s energy content as well as fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugar, protein and salt levels, in a way that makes them easy for consumers to read. Such information must be presented in a legible tabular form on the packaging, and expressed per 100g or per 100ml. It may also be expressed per portion.

The new rules also:

  • tighten allergen labelling requirements for both pre-packaged products and non-packaged foods sold in restaurants or canteens by requiring them to be highlighted within the list of ingredients;
  • extend existing country of origin labelling laws to fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goats, and poultry;
  • ensure that consumers are not misled by the appearance, description or pictorial presentation of food packaging. In addition, meat and fish consisting of combined meat parts or fish parts must now be labelled “formed meat” or “formed fish,” accordingly.

Once the legislation has been published in the EU Official Journal, food companies will have three years to adopt them, however, in relation to the rules on nutrition values companies will have five years to implement.


 Please contact us for more information on food labelling at




© RT COOPERS, 2011. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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