Following an EU directive, 25 November 2004 saw the introduction of new rules requiring specified allergens to be identified on food labels. We look at the new rules and other provisions requiring more ingredient information at
New Law: The Food Labelling (Amendment) (No.2) (England) Regulations 2004
Up to 25 November 2004 there were no specific rules covering the mentioning in pre-packed food labelling of specified allergens or their derivatives. As regards compound ingredients of pre-packed foods there was an exemption from mentioning in labelling any element of a compound ingredient making up less than 25% of a product.
What will change:
These new labelling regulations will introduce a specified list of allergens, and any pre-packed foods (including alcoholic drinks) which are made using these allergens or their derivatives must, unless it is clear from the product name that the product includes the allergen, declare on their labelling the relevant ingredient and for derivatives, make a clear reference to the source allergens.
The list of allergens comprises cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, eight other types of nut comprising almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, pecan nut, brazil, pistachio and macadamia/Queensland nuts, soya beans, milk, celery, mustard, sesame seeds and sulphur dioxide and sulphates at more than 10 mg/kg or 10mg/litre.
New general ingredient labelling requirements
Here the new rules are as follows:
- compound ingredients making up less than 2% of finished products do not have to list their ingredients if their composition is defined in EU Law (e.g. jam and chocolate);
- compound ingredients consisting of mixtures of herbs and spices that make up less than 2% of the finished product do not have to list their ingredients;
- ingredients making up less than 2% of the finished product need not be listed in weight order in the ingredient list;
- similar or mutually substitutable ingredients that make up less than 2% of the finished product may be indicated in the list of ingredients by use of 'contains….and/or' in certain circumstances.
- all other ingredients must be listed.
The new regulations are in force 25 November 2004.