Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2014

European Commission - Press release, 11 December 2014

LABELLING - EU consumers to benefit from better labelling as of 13 December 2014

As of 13 December 2014, new EU food labelling rules [Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011], adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2011, will ensure that consumers receive clearer, more comprehensive and accurate information on food content, and help them make informed choices about what they eat.

The EU Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis said: "As of 13 December 2014, European citizens will see the results of years of work to improve food labelling rules. Key content information will now be more clearly marked on labels, helping people make informed choices on the food they buy. The new rules put the consumer first by providing clearer information, and in a way that is manageable for businesses."

Key changes

Some of the key changes to the labelling rules are outlined below:

However, rules relating to mandatory nutritional labelling for processed food will only apply from 13 December 2016.

Food business operators have been given three years to ensure a smooth transition towards the new labelling regime for prepacked and non-prepacked foods. In addition, the Regulation provides for exhaustion of stocks for foods placed on the market or labelled before 13 December 2014 (N.B. this does not include exhaustion of stocks of labels).

The Commission has been working together with businesses to ensure that the new rules will be properly implemented. Work is also underway on developing an EU database to facilitate the identification of all EU and national mandatory labelling rules in a simple way. This will offer a user-friendly tool for all food business operators and for SME's to consult. The work for the creation of the database should be carried out during 2015.


Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of information to consumers replaces and combines into one piece of legislation previous labelling rules deriving from Directive 2000/13/EC regarding labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs and Directive 90/496/EEC on nutrition labelling of foodstuffs and other legislative acts for specific categories of foods.

For more information, see:

For more details, see the Food Labelling page on this site:

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