For the prepackaged food the mandatory information have to appare directly on the packaging or on a lable that is stick on it. (See Reg. 1169/2011/UE Art. 12, comma 2).
The prepackaged food are products that fulfill the following conditions:
- are intended for the final consumer or the catering service supplier (stand, restaurant, cafeteria, school cafeteria, hospital, catering etc).
- are composed by the packaging and the food product.
- the food product is wrapped before the selling.
- the packaging covers completely or partially the product in a way that is not possible to adulterate the product without open or change the packaging. An example of partial packaging is the one of salami.
Product that are wrap in the selling place on request of the consumer or prepackaged for the direct selling (for example the cheese already cut that is sold in the supermarket). (See the Reg. 1169/2011/EU, Art.2, comma 2, letter e).
The following information are mandatory:
- name of the product: corresponds to the legal name.
- the word “ingredienti/Zutaten” followed by the list of ingredient in decreasing order.
- Allergen: the ingredients that can cause allergies or intolerance must be highlighted.
- Quantity of some ingredients or category of ingredients that are highlighted, for example in the tortellini filled with meat the % of meat must be written.
- Nett quantity of the food product (see producer of small quantities)
- the date of minimum durability (“da consumarsi preferibilmente entro il… / Mindestens haltbar bis…”) or the ‘use by’ date (“da consumare entro il… / Zu verbrauchen bis …”)
- any special storage conditions and/or conditions of use. for example “Keep at the temperature of 4°C”.
- the name or business name and address of the food business operator
- Origin or provenance where required by law (e.g. EU regulations: Honey, Milk, Fresh Meat, Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, Fresh Fish etc.).
- Compulsory Italian indications regarding origin:
- Origin of bread flour, milk, rice, etc.
- Address of the production and packaging company;
- Instructions for use in case their absence makes difficult the right consume of the product.
- Volume of alcohol (for beverages that contains more than 1,2% alcohol).
- Nutrition declaration
- additional mandatory information regarding specific type of food products (for example for froze fish and meat is required the freezing date: “Congelato il …/ Eingefroren am .., GIORNO/MESE/ANNO”
For solid product, the information above can be calculated with www.foodlabelcheck.eu
Name of the product
The name of the product correspond to the legal name defined by the legislator or the right of custom. The name of the product must be distinguish from the commercial sell description that the sellers use to tell their product apart from the others product.
On the European level, additional information to the name of the product are required concerning the physical condition of the product or the treatment it underwent.
The Member State can standardize the food products through their legislation. This standardization can demand the mandatory use of specific ingredients or transformation process. If the product doesn’t fulfill the requirements of the legislation it must be sold with a different name. When a product is defined neither from the European Union nor from the Member State, it still need to have a customary name or a descriptive name should. The use of Brands or Trademarks is not enough.
The facilitations are applied when a food product is sold in a stage that precede the sell to the final consumers or when the product is intended for the catering services that will modify it before the purchase.
The mandatory information regarding this products can be included in the commercial document instead of the packaging. In these case it is necessary to guarantee that:
- the commercial documents that refers to the food product go with it or are send before or at the same time of the delivery;
- the name of the product, the expiring date, the storing and use instruction and name and address of the food business operator should are written on the external prackaging of the product.
(See Reg 1169/2011/EU, Art. 8, comma 7)