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What allergen and calorie information is required for retailers in Ireland?

Written by

David McDonnell

Published

March 20, 2023

Category

Legislation

With more and more consumers becoming health-conscious and interested in making informed purchasing decisions, it's important for retailers to understand the relevant regulations.

The world of retail is always changing, and consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of dietary choices. To meet the demands of an informed and health-conscious marketing, retailers in Ireland must comply with specific regulations regarding allergen and calorie information. 

Let’s take a look at the essential requirements and guidelines that retailers need to follow to provide accurate and transparent information to their customers. 

Understanding allergen information requirements

Food Information Regulations (FIR)

The Food Information Regulations were implemented in 2014 and outline the obligations of food businesses, including retailers, concerning the provision of allergen information. These regulations aim to ensure that consumers, particularly those with food allergies, have access to clear and comprehensible information about the presence of allergens in food products. 

14 Major Allergens

Retailers in Ireland must be aware of the 14 major allergens identified by FIR. these include common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, gluten, soy, fish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, lupin, and sulphur dioxide.

Clear Labelling

Allergen information should be clearly displayed on pre-packaged food products, either on the packaging or through other labelling. The information must be easily understandable, so that customers can make informed choice and avoid allergens that may pose a risk to their health.

Understanding Calorie Information Requirements

Calorie Declaration for Pre-Packaged Food

The European Union Regulation (1169/2011) mandates the provision of nutrition information, including calories, for pre-packaged food. While this regulation mostly applies to pre-packaged food, retailers offering non-pre-packaged food are encouraged to provide this information voluntarily. 

Calorie Content Per 100g or 100ml

When providing calorie information, retailers must present it per 100 grams or 100 millilitres of the product. This means that consumers can easily compare the nutritional content of different products and make informed decisions based on their dietary preferences or requirements.

Menu Labelling for Non-Pre-Packaged Food

For non-pre-packaged food, such as items sold at cafes or delis, retailers are encouraged to provide calorie information on menus or other accessible platforms. This voluntary measure helps customers understand the nutritional content of the food they are purchasing. 

What happens if I don’t comply as a retailer? 

Failure to comply with allergen and calorie information requirements can have serious consequences for retailers. Apart from potential legal consequences, non-compliance can damage the reputation of the business and erode consumer trust. 

With consumers becoming more and more aware of making health conscious choices, retailers in Ireland must prioritise providing accurate allergen and calorie information. It’s not only important to be legally compliant, but also demonstrates a commitment to transparency and consumer well-being. 

Visual ID are committed to ensuring your in-store marketing is brand consistent and legally compliant. Get in touch today.

Methodolgy

Visual ID are committed to ensuring your in-store marketing is brand consistent and legally compliant. Get in touch today.

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David McDonnell

With a career spanning 40 years in FMCG, marketing, trading and field sales management, Visual ID is in safe hands with Dave as Managing Director. He’s responsible for the commercial, financial, sales and marketing and personnel functions of the company. In his down time he loves to spend time with his friends and family, gardening, walking and has a huge interest in modern and classic cars.

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