European food and drink manufacturers are updating labelling across their entire product range in response to new European rules that will come into effect from 13 December.
The new European food labelling rules will help consumers to have accurate and comprehensive information on food content so that they can make informed choices.
The new labels will carry allergen information prominently in the ingredients list, while statements such as "Contains: milk, nuts" will no longer be used on the packs; however, precautionary labelling such as "May contain: milk, nuts" will continue to be used.
The food labelling regulation also requires a minimum font size for mandatory information in order to increase legibility.
Nutritional information, which has become a mandatory requirement, will be carried on the food products on the ‘back of pack’. Further, the nutrient content will be indicated as per 100g.
Front-of-pack labelling will remain voluntary; however, there are new requirements to increase consistency and aid usage.
Any specific kinds of vegetable oils contained within a food or drink will be indicated in the ingredients list.
The labels will carry the origin of unprocessed meat on-pack from April 2015, following an extension of country-of-origin labelling.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), a body representing the UK food and drink manufacturing industry, claimed that since the EU Food Information to Consumers (EU FIC) regulation was published in the EU Official Journal in 2011, the food and drink producers have been updating labelling across their products.
FDF regulation, science and health director Barbara Gallani said: "Food and drink labelling helps make informed purchasing decisions by enabling individuals to check, compare and choose between similar products.
"Consumers have long had access to considerable product information on-pack, including nutrition information, which has been voluntarily provided by UK food and drink producers for nearly a decade.
"With its wide-ranging changes, the EU FIC has introduced the biggest change to on-pack labelling for the modern food industry and FDF members have been working to make sure that their product labels are compliant ahead of tomorrow’s deadline."
Image: The new labels will carry accurate and comprehensive information on food content. Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net.