New EU Food Allergen Labeling Regulation
By December 13th 2014 all food labels in EU must identify allergens to comply with the European directive 1169/2011. The goal of the directive is to provide greater clarity to consumers on ingredients, nutrition and allergens. Manufacturers, retailers and food service operators need to clearly highlight food allergens within the ingredients list.
The EU directive 1169/2011 at a glance
Scope of the new regulation
- Mandatory nutrition information on processed foods;
- Mandatory origin labelling of unprocessed meat from beef, sheep, pigs and poultry;
- Highlighting allergens e.g. peanuts or milk in the list of ingredients;
- Better legibility i.e. minimum size of text: letter x height needs to be at least 1.2mm
- Requirements on information on allergens also cover non pre-packed foods including those sold in restaurants and cafés.
The 14 substances and products that cause allergies or intolerances
- Cereals containing Gluten
- Sesame Seeds
- Sulphur dioxide and Sulphites
This can be achieved using an Emydex Traceability labelling software system integrated with Nice Labels.
No longer do you need to define separate label templates for each product with fixed ingredient text. Emydex allows you to minimize the number of label templates required by allowing ingredient text to be stored as a variable against each product. The user will identify the allergens in the ingredient text and highlight them in bold text.
Mandatory origin labelling is accomplished by the traceability infrastructure inherent within the Emydex system. Country of Origin (and other traceability data) is recorded at Intake against an Internal Traceability Number (ITN). This ITN number then follows the products through the plant to the labelling process where the country of origin is extracted for printing on the label. When the traceability chain within the Emydex system is not complete (e.g. not full installations), the Country of origin can be selected from a drop down list at the labelling stations.
Example Label showing Allergen Ingredients highlighted in Bold