Tag Archives: Foodstuffs legislation

Food and feed safety

Food and feed safety

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Food and feed safety

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Veterinary checks animal health rules food hygiene

Food and feed safety

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety [See amending acts].

Summary

This Regulation ensures the quality of foodstuffs intended for human consumption and animal feed. It guarantees the free circulation of safe and secure food and feed in the internal market.

In addition, the European Union’s (EU) food legislation protects consumers against fraudulent or deceptive commercial practices. This legislation also aims to protect the health and wellbeing of animals, plant health and the environment.

Safety standards

No food stuff dangerous to health and/or unfit for consumption may be placed on the market. To determine whether a foodstuff is dangerous, the following are considered:

  • the normal conditions of use;
  • the information provided to the consumer;
  • the probable immediate or delayed effect on health;
  • the cumulative toxic effects;
  • the specific sensitivity of certain consumers.

Where any food which is unsafe is part of a batch, lot or consignment, it is assumed that the whole batch, lot or consignment is unsafe.

In addition, animal feed deemed to be unsafe cannot be placed on the market or fed to any food-producing animals.

Responsibilities of operators

Operators * must apply the food legislation at all stages of the food chain, from the production, processing, transport and distribution stages through to the supply of food.

In addition, operators are responsible for ensuring the traceability of products at all stages of the production, processing and distribution, including with regard to substances incorporated into the foodstuffs.

If an operator considers that a food or feed is harmful to human or animal health, they immediately initiate the procedures to withdraw the product from the market and inform the competent authorities. Where the product may have reached the consumer, the operator informs the consumers and recalls the products already supplied.

Food risk analysis

The health risk analysis is carried out in several phases: assessment, management and communication to the public. This process is carried out in an independent, objective and transparent manner. It is based on the available scientific evidence.

Where the assessment identifies the presence of a risk, the Member States and the Commission may apply the precautionary principle and adopt provisional and proportionate measures.

International market

The legislation applies to foodstuffs exported or re-exported in the EU before being placed on the market of a third country, except if the importing country decides otherwise.

The EU contributes to the development of international technical standards for food and feed, as well as for animal health and plant protection.

European food safety authority (EFSA)

A European Food Safety Authority provides scientific advice and scientific and technical support in all areas impacting on food safety. It constitutes an independent source of information on all matters in this field and ensures that the general public is kept informed.

Participation in EFSA is open to EU Member States and to other countries applying EU food safety law.

EFSA is also responsible for:

  • coordinating risk assessments and identifying emerging risks;
  • providing scientific and technical advice to the Commission, including in connection with crisis management;
  • collecting and publishing scientific and technical data in areas relating to food safety;
  • stablishing European networks of organisations operating in the field of food safety.

Rapid alert system

The rapid alert system (RAPEX) involves the Member States, the Commission and EFSA. It enables information exchange concerning:

  • measures aimed at restricting the placing in circulation or withdrawal of food or feed from the market;
  • actions taken with professional operators for controlling the use of food or feed;
  • the rejection of a batch or consignment of food or feed by an EU border post.

In the case of a food-related risk, the information disseminated within the rapid alert network must be made available to the general public.

Emergencies

Where food or feed, including those imported from a third country presents a serious and uncontainable risk to human health, animal health or the environment, the Commission puts in place protective measures and:

  • suspends the placing on the market or use of products originating from the EU;
  • suspends imports of products originating from third countries.

However, if the Commission does not act after having been informed of the existence of a risk, the Member State concerned may take protective measures. Within a period of 10 working days, the Commission must refer the matter to the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health with a view to extending, amending or revoking the national measures.

Crisis-management plan

In the case of situations entailing direct or indirect risks to human health not provided for by the Regulation, the Commission, EFSA and the Member States may establish a general crisis-management plan.

Similarly, in the case of a serious risk, which cannot be dealt with under the existing provisions, the Commission must immediately set up a crisis unit, in which the Authority participates by providing scientific and technical support. The crisis unit is responsible for collecting and evaluating all relevant information and identifying the options available for preventing, eliminating or reducing the risk to human health.

Context

Decisions 68/361/EEC, 69/414/EEC and 70/372/EEC are repealed.

Key terms of the Act
  • Operator: the natural or legal person responsible for ensuring that the requirements of food law are met within the food business under their control.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 178/2002

21.2.2002

1.1.2005

OJ L 031, 1. 2. 2002

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1642/2003

1.10.2003

OJ L 245, 29.9.2003

Regulation (EC) No 575/2006

28.4.2006

OJ L 100, 8.4.2006

Regulation (EC) No 202/2008

25.3.2008

OJ L 60, 5.3.2008

Regulation (EC) No 596/2009

7.8.2009

OJ L 188, 18.7.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2230/2004 of 23 December 2004 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 with regard to the network of organisations operating in the fields within the European Food Safety Authority’s mission [Official Journal L 379 of 24.12.2004].

Commission Decision 2004/478/EC of 29 April 2004 concerning the adoption of a general plan for food/feed crisis management [Official Journal L 160 of 30.4.2004].


Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption [Official Journal L 139 of 30.4.2004].

Materials and articles in regenerated cellulose film

Materials and articles in regenerated cellulose film

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Materials and articles in regenerated cellulose film

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Contamination and environmental factors

Materials and articles in regenerated cellulose film

Document or Iniciative

Commission Directive 2007/42/EC of 29 June 2007 relating to materials and articles made of regenerated cellulose film intended to come into contact with foodstuffs.

Summary

This Directive is a specific directive provided for by Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 concerning materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Scope

It applies to regenerated cellulose film which constitutes a finished product in itself, or forms part of a finished product containing other materials and which are intended to come into contact or are placed in contact with foodstuffs.

It does not apply to synthetic casings of regenerated cellulose.

Description

Regenerated cellulose film is defined as a thin sheet obtained from a refined cellulose derived from unrecycled wood or cotton. To meet technical requirements, suitable substances may be added either in the mass or on the surface. Regenerated cellulose film may be coated on one or both sides.

The regenerated cellulose films covered by this Directive belong to one of the following categories:

  • uncoated regenerated cellulose film;
  • coated regenerated cellulose film with coating derived from cellulose; or
  • coated regenerated cellulose film with coating consisting of plastics.

Authorised substances and restrictions

The Directive lays down a positive list of substances authorised in the manufacture of regenerated cellulose film with restrictions of use (see Annex II).

Regenerated cellulose films which are uncoated or coated with plastics may be manufactured with substances other than those specified in Annex II if they are employed as colouring matter or as adhesives, provided that there is no trace of migration of the substances into or onto foodstuffs.

Regenerated cellulose films which are coated with plastics shall comply with the provisions laid down by Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 concerning plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs.

Printed surfaces of regenerated cellulose film shall not come into contact with the foodstuffs.

Marketing and labelling

At the marketing stages other than the retail stages, materials and articles made of regenerated cellulose film intended to come into contact with foodstuffs shall be accompanied by a written declaration in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004. However, materials and articles which, by their nature, are clearly intended to come into contact with foodstuffs are not subject to this obligation.

Where special conditions of use are indicated, the material or article made of regenerated cellulose film shall be labelled accordingly.

Context

This Directive codifies and repeals Commission Directive 93/10/EEC of 15 March 1993 relating to materials and articles made of regenerated cellulose film intended to come into contact with foodstuffs and its amendments.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2007/42/EC

20.7.2007

OJ L 172 of 30.6.2007

Recycled plastic materials and articles

Recycled plastic materials and articles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Recycled plastic materials and articles

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Contamination and environmental factors

Recycled plastic materials and articles

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/2008 of 27 March 2008 on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods and amending Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006.

Summary

This Regulation lays down specific measures for recycled plastic materials and articles, supplementing Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Scope

This Regulation covers recycled plastic materials and articles which may come partially or totally into contact with food.

This Regulation does not apply to recycled plastic materials and articles:

  • made with monomers and substances derived from chemical depolymerization of plastic materials and articles;
  • made from unused production offcuts or process scraps;
  • in which the recycled plastic is used behind a plastic functional barrier *.

The materials and articles covered by this Regulation are subject to Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials intended for food packaging.

Requirements for recycled plastic materials and articles

The recycled plastic used for the manufacture of materials and articles covered by this Regulation must be obtained from an authorised recycling process. The said process is to be managed using a quality assurance system which complies with the rules laid down in the Annex of Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Conditions for the authorisation of recycling processes

Authorisation may be granted if recycling processes comply with the following conditions:

  • the quality of plastic input must be characterised and controlled;
  • the plastic input must originate from plastic materials and articles that have been manufactured in accordance with Community legislation on plastic food contact materials and articles;
  • the recycling process must be able to guarantee that there can be no contamination or that it is reduced to a concentration that does not pose a risk to human health;
  • the conditions of use of recycled plastic must guarantee that the final materials and articles do not release into food components in a quantity likely to endanger human health or to bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or to bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.

Applications for authorisation of recycling processes

Applications for authorisation for a recycling process are to be made to the competent authority of a Member State accompanied by a technical dossier containing the information described in the guidelines for the safety assessment of a recycling process prepared by the European Food Safety Authority.

The Member State sends the application to the Authority which is responsible for assessing whether the said process meets the above conditions. Following a transitory phase, the Authority will have a period of six months from receipt of the application to give its opinion.

The Commission shall take into account the opinion of the Authority and adopt a Decision that it will send to the applicant. In this Decision, it will grant or refuse authorisation of the recycling process.

Community register

The Commission shall maintain a register of authorised recycling processes. The register shall be made available to the public.

Official control

Recycling plants and converters shall be subject to official controls. These controls aim at verifying that the recycling processes correspond to the processes for which authorisation was granted and that the quality assurance system is in place.

The authorisation holder shall notify the competent authority in the Member State about the recycling or manufacturing site in which the authorised recycling process is being applied. Member States shall send this information to the Commission who will keep updated a register of recycling sites in the Community and third countries.

Labelling of recycled plastic materials and articles

Voluntary self-declaration of the recycled content in recycled plastic materials and articles shall follow the rules laid down in ISO 14021:1999 or equivalent.

Declaration of compliance and record keeping

In addition to the conditions laid down by Regulation (EU) No 10/2011, the declaration of compliance of recycled plastic materials and articles shall certify that the recycled plastic used comes from an authorised recycling process and shall bear the EC register number corresponding to the recycling process.

In addition to the conditions laid down by Regulation (EU) No 10/2011, the declaration of compliance for recycled plastic materials shall certify that:

  • the recycling process has been authorised. A precise indication of the EC register number for the process;
  • the plastic input, the recycling process and the recycled plastic meet the specifications for which the authorisation has been granted;
  • a quality assurance system is in place.
Key terms of the Act
  • Plastic functional barrier: a barrier composed of one or several layers of plastic material ensuring that the finished material or article does not release into food components in a quantity likely to:
    1. endanger human health, or
    2. bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or
    3. bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 282/2008

17.4.2008

OJ L 86 of 28.3.2008

Extraction solvents used in foodstuffs

Extraction solvents used in foodstuffs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Extraction solvents used in foodstuffs

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Contamination and environmental factors

Extraction solvents used in foodstuffs

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States on extraction solvents used in the production of foodstuffs and food ingredients.

Summary

This Directive replaces Directive 88/344/EEC and establishes a single list of extraction solvents * for foodstuffs.

Extraction solvents

This Directive applies to extraction solvents used in the production of foodstuffs or food ingredients. It also applies to extraction solvents imported into the European Union (EU).

This Directive shall not apply to extraction solvents used in the production of food additives, vitamins and other nutritional additives (unless such food additives, vitamins or nutritional additives are listed in Annex I).

Use and marketing

Member States shall authorise the use on their territory of extraction solvents used in the production of foodstuffs or food ingredients. However, this is subject to compliance with conditions of use and permitted residues. Only extraction solvents listed in Annex I may be used.

Member States shall not prohibit, restrict or limit the marketing of a foodstuff or ingredient produced using an extraction solvent which meets the requirements of this Directive.

Water to which substances regulating acidity or alkalinity may have been added and other food substances which possess solvent properties are authorised as extraction solvents in the manufacture of foodstuffs or food ingredients.

Purity criteria

This Directive may, if necessary, establish specific purity criteria for the extraction solvents listed in Annex I, and in particular maximum permitted limits of mercury and cadmium.

The suspension or withdrawal of authorisation

A Member State may temporarily suspend or restrict an authorisation granted for an extraction solvent. To do this, the Member State must have grounds justifying that the solvent in question represents a risk for human health. It shall inform the Commission and the other Member States of its decision without delay.

The Commission shall examine the grounds cited as soon as possible and express an opinion. If appropriate, the Commission shall approve the measures taken by the Member State or supplement them with appropriate measures.

Labelling

This Directive lays down labelling requirements including:

  • the commercial name as indicated in Annex I;
  • a clear indication that the extraction solvent is of a quality suitable for use for the extraction of food or food ingredients;
  • the number of the batch or lot;
  • the commercial name of the manufacturer or packer;
  • the net quantity;
  • if necessary, the special storage conditions or conditions of use.

There may be exemptions from these labelling rules. Only the first two particulars (the commercial name and use) may appear on the label if the extraction solvents are accompanied by commercial documents for the batch or lot which include the remaining information.

The particulars must be easily visible, clearly legible and indelible. They must be expressed in a language which can be easily understood by the purchaser.

Key terms of the Act
  • Solvent: any substance for dissolving a foodstuff or any component thereof, including any contaminant present in or on that foodstuff.
  • Extraction solvent: a solvent which is used in an extraction procedure during the processing of raw materials, of foodstuffs, or of components or ingredients of these products and which is removed but which may result in the unintentional, but technically unavoidable, presence of residues or derivatives in the foodstuff or food ingredient.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2009/32/EC

26.6.2009

JO L 141 of 6.6.2009