Food Labeling: the information on food packaging will soon become more legible and informative. The consumers will receive all the necessary information if the products contain allergens and gluten.
The relevant Law “On Consumer Information on Food Products” is enacted on August 6, 2019 (6 months after publication), with the exception of certain provisions being in effect from February 7 (simultaneously, the labeling of food products can be used to designate units of measurement using Latin letters or the Greek alphabet).
The food products that comply with the requirements of the legislation can be produced or put into circulation within three years after the Law enters into force and remain in circulation before the final consumption date or shelf life.
At the same time, it is prohibited to the market operators either to implement the turnover of the food products obtained from facilities that failed to pass the State registration or failed to receive an operational permit, or to use such foodstuffs in food production.
The Law obliges to place the following information on packaged food products:
- (a) the name of the food product;
- (b) the list of ingredients;
- (c) any ingredients or auxiliary materials for processing that may cause allergic reactions or intolerance, and that are used in manufacturing or preparation of the food product and remain in the finished product, even in modified form;
- (d) the amount of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients;
- (e) the amount of food in the established units of measurement;
- (e) the minimum shelf life or the date “use before”;
- (g) any special storage conditions and / or conditions of use (if necessary);
- (h) the name and location of the market operator responsible for information about the food product; and, for imported food, the name and location of the importer;
- (i) the country of origin or place of origin (for meat products or food, which name may mislead as to the country of origin);
- (k) the using instructions – in cases where the absence of such instructions makes difficult the proper use of the food product;
- (l) for beverages containing more than 1.2 percent of an ethyl alcohol volume units, the real alcohol content of the beverage must be indicated;
- (m) the nutritional information of the food product.
In addition to this information, the information about individual types or categories of food is provided. The list of such information is set forth in the Appendix No. 2 to the Law, in particular, the date of freezing should be indicated on the frozen meat or semi-finished products. In the high caffeine drinks or caffeine-added foods (except coffee and tea) the information about high caffeine, etc. will be indicated.
The Annex No. 3 to the Law also contains a list of products not subject to the requirement of the mandatory nutritional information. For example, drinking water, herbs, spices, salt, etc.
The information about the food product should not mislead the consumer, especially in terms of the properties and characteristics of food products and the consequences of their consumption, as well as in attributing medicinal properties to food products. The ban also applies to the advertising and presentation of foodstuffs.