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DATE MARKING GUIDANCE EXPECTED BY 2021

Mar 30, 2020

 

The indication of the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on prepacked foods is minimally regulated by the main EU labelling Regulation (Regulation 1169/2011 on Food Information to Consumers). Food business operators have the responsibility to decide on the appropriate indication. The mere guidance in the latter Regulation provides that in the case of foods which, from a microbiological point of view, are highly perishable and are therefore likely after a short period to constitute an immediate danger to human health, the date of minimum durability (‘best before’ date) shall be replaced by the ‘use by’ date. Other specific rules apply to eggs and fresh poultry meat in terms of indication of the date of expiry. The Commission indicated recently, answering to a Parliamentary question aimed to reduce food waste, that it is currently working on guidance on date marking in close cooperation with the EFSA. The Commission did not specify a date, but noted to finalize the Guidance in 2021. The Commission will consider date marking options which may could support reduction of food waste based on the results of ongoing consumer research.

 

EU Parliament Question E-003617/2019 - link

 

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