Before European regulation EU1169, legislation regarding food labelling was scattered among various articles of law. It was a headache and a major waste of time trying to find it! From now on, everything is aligned and simplified in one single document. But just because the legislation is clearer doesn’t mean that its application is more immediate or intuitive. Explanations.
According to AFSCA, on the basis of the Royal Decree of July 17, 2014, Article 4,
the communication of information on allergens to the final consumer must be in writing, the information being clearly and legibly affixed on physical or electronic media installed at the point of sale of the food.
By way of derogation from this rule, the communication of information may be done orally if the 5 following conditions are met:
- At the request of the consumer, the information must be communicated without delay, at the food’s point of sale, and before the purchase is concluded.
- A written procedure must be developed and implemented to ensure that the information regarding allergens is correctly communicated.
- This procedure must be available at the point of sale and easily accessible to the establishment’s employees, as well as AFSCA agents.
- Personnel must be sufficiently trained on the topic of allergens and its relevant procedures.
- No fees may be sought for providing this information.
What needs to be mentioned on food labels?
- The allergens for each dish
- A statement explaining how this information can be found
- A warning that the composition of the food may vary.
The 14 allergens that must be mentioned are: cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, soy, milk and milk products, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, lupine and shellfish.
Any products based on these substances must also be disclosed, although there are some exceptions.
- How? In writing or, under some circumstances, orally.
- Based on what? On your precise recipe and the characteristics of each of its ingredients.
- Why? Some allergies are fatal.
If the details are indicated on your menu for each dish, then you’re fine. Offering an alternative menu with dish-by-dish details is also a possibility, which corresponds to our solution.
The list of allergens must be based on the actual ingredients used in the recipe, so you’d have to find the allergens indicated on each of your ingredient’s packaging.
For example, if you have a dish of salmon and mozzarella enclosed in a pastry sheet, you would need to know in this case that fish and milk are allergens, but you’d also have to check the packaging of your pastry sheet for the complete list of allergens.
Our database already contains more than 10,000 ingredients, each of which with details regarding its allergens, nutritional values, etc. Discover our software.