Article 8 – responsibilities under EU food information to consumers regulation
Mass Caterers – including pubs / restaurants, stalls, vehicles
New rules will come into place from 13 December 2014 that will require allergen labelling to be available to consumers in all mass catering establishments. These are any establishments that prepare food ready for consumption by the final consumer (including stalls and vehicles). It will be the responsibility of the establishment to have allergen information available and ensure that it is clear to the consumer how to obtain this. Dissemination can be done via many methods including, but not limited to:
Labelling responsibilities when selling to mass caterers or wholesalers*
When a manufacturer produces food for sale directly to a mass caterer or a food that is intended for the final consumer but marketed at a stage prior to sale to the final consumer, such as a manufacturer to wholesaler who then sells to retail, there are various possibilities regarding information dissemination. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that all the mandatory information required under the Food Information to Consumers Regulation is supplied. Not all the information is required on a label on the prepackaging and some information may be supplied on commercial documents. However, the Regulation still states that the following must be present on a label attached to the product supplied to mass caterers:
It should be noted that, when a food is then sold to the final consumer, all mandatory labelling requirements must be adhered to.
*Wholesalers is an example of where prepacked food is intended for the final consumer but marketed at a stage prior to sale to the final consumer and where sale to a mass caterer is not involved at that stage.
Labelling responsibilities when selling to industry for use
The FIC labelling requirements themselves do not apply to food intended for business-to-business transactions that do not involve food for mass caterers or food intended as such for the final consumer. Despite this, a food business operator has the responsibility to ensure that all the mandatory information required under the FIC is supplied to the manufacturers / packers who will be responsible for the final product information to the consumer.
Responsibilities of the importer when importing products from EU and 3rd Countries
When importing food products from a 3rd country a food label or commercial document must name a business operator that is responsible for the product within the EU. It is the importer who is responsible for the product and all
the information present (or not present) on the label. It is the responsibility of the importer in the EU to ensure that all
mandatory particulars are on the label or provided for in commercial documents where appropriate.