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Food Safety

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 establishes the rules for the provision of food information for foods offered for sale by means of distance communication.

In order to ensure the provision of food information, it is necessary to consider all ways of supplying food to consumers, including selling food by means of distance communication. Although it is clear that any food supplied through distance selling should meet the same information requirements as food sold in shops, it is necessary to clarify that in such cases the relevant mandatory food information shall also be available before the purchase is concluded (Preamble (27)).

‘Means of distance communication’ denotes any process which, without the simultaneous physical presence of the supplier and the consumer, may be used for the conclusion of a contract between those parties (Art. 2, par. 2 (u)).

In the case of prepacked foods offered for sale by means of distance communications, the responsible food business operator is required to make available all mandatory food information before the purchase is concluded, except for the date of minimum durability or the 'use by' date. The mandatory food information shall either appear on the material supporting the distance selling (e.g. webpage or catalogue) or through other appropriate means clearly identified by the food business operator without any supplementary costs for the final consumer. In addition, at the moment of delivery, the responsible food business operator is required to make available all mandatory particulars (including the date of minimum durability or the 'use by' date) (Art. 14, par. 1).

In the case of foods offered for sale by means of automatic vending machines or automated commercial premises the requirement to make available all mandatory food information before the purchase is concluded does not apply (Art. 14, par. 3).

In the case of non-prepacked foods offered for sale by means of distance communications, the food business operator is required to provide only allergen information in accordance with the particulars under Article 44 of the Regulation, unless national measures require the provision of all or some of the particulars referred to in Articles 9 and 10 of the Regulation. The allergen information and any other particulars required by national law shall be provided before the purchase is concluded by either appearing on the material supporting the distance selling (e.g. webpage or catalogue) or through other appropriate means clearly identified by the food business operator without any supplementary costs for the final consumer. In addition, at the moment of delivery, the responsible food business operator is required to make available the allergen information and any other particulars required by national law (Art. 14, par. 2).