The information placed on the food must be visible, indelible and in a font size of at least 1.2 mm.
On December 13, 2016, new regulations regarding labels on products were introduced in Poland and other European Union countries. They oblige producers to provide food packaging with information on its nutritional value.
The new regulations enter into force on the basis of the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) No. 1169/20111, published on October 25, 2011. Thanks to the introduction of new regulations, consumers will be better informed about the health properties of products.
From December 13, 2016, food manufacturers must put two important information on the labels with the energy value of the product, given in kJ (kilojoules) and in kcal (kilocalories);
on the content of carbohydrates, sugars, salt, protein, fat and saturated fatty acids – calculated per 100 g, 100 ml of the product or based on the size of the package or the average portion consumption per adult person.
You should read it: Calories trouble
Foodstuffs that were introduced to the market before December 13, 2016 and do not yet have such information on the packaging, may remain on the market until stocks are exhausted. Responsibility for applying the regulations is borne by the company under whose name the product operates on the market or – if it is an entity from outside the European Union – a food importer.
Readability of labels
Producers must also comply with the regulations on the legibility of food information. They should be visible, indelible and clear – using a font size not less than 1.2 mm – placed directly on the packaging or on the attached label. Moreover, the information must be written in a language easily understandable to consumers in a given country.
Special restrictions apply to information about allergens contained in food. It must be underlined, written in a different style or font color or placed on a highlighted background.
What information can we find on the labels of food products?
It is worth adding that although producers have to inform about the nutritional value of the product from December 2016, some of the regulations from the 2011 regulation entered into force as early as in 2014. According to them, producers can, but do not have to inform about the presence in the product
- monounsaturated fatty acids
- polyunsaturated fatty acids
- polyols (polyhydric alcohols)
- certain vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K, C, B6, B12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid) and minerals (potassium, chlorine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, fluorine, selenium, chlorine, molybdenum, iodine) if the product contains a significant amount (i.e. 15 per cent of the intake values contained in 100 g or 100 ml of the product for products other than drinks; 7.5 per cent the reference intake values contained in 100 ml of the product in the case of beverages, 15 per cent of the reference intake, per portion if the package contains only one portion).
Check also: The role and qualities of fat in the diet