10 July 2014
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) in partnership with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) are hosting a series of seminars in Sligo, Dublin and Cork to inform seafood industry regarding the labelling of seafood and what they will be required to do under the new food labelling legislation (EU) No. 1169/2011, and regulation (EU) 1379/2013 on the common organisation of the markets in Fishery and Aquaculture products due to be in place by the 13th December this year.
Pictured at the BIM Labelling Seminar for the Seafood Industry in the Radisson Hotel, Dublin Airport are Donal Buckley, BIM Director of Business Development & Innovation; Amanda O’Brien, Food Safety Unit, SFPA, David Lyons, Marine Contracts, FSAI and Sinéad Ní Bhriain, Public Health Nutrition Section, FSAI. BIM hosted seminars in Sligo, Dublin and Cork to inform seafood processors about new food labelling legislation due to be in place in December this year.
Speaking at the Dublin seminar in the Radisson Hotel, Dublin Airport yesterday, Donal Buckley, BIM’s Director of Business Development and Innovation outlined the importance of correct labelling in terms of customer confidence; ‘Due to the nature of our wild and open fisheries resource, labelling has been a source of confusion for customers. Traceability and provenance is more important than ever and the seminar today is designed to inform you how best to work within the current and new legislation to ensure your product label is communicating the right information to your customers, both in terms of provenance and nutrition. I would like to sincerely thank the FSAI and the SFPA for assisting us with our series of seminars and BIM will continue to assist seafood companies to ensure they are adhering to the necessary legislation’
Under the current legislation and in addition to the general food labelling requirements; seafood processors and retailers that sell live, fresh, chilled or frozen fish, fillets of fish, smoked fish, salted and dried fishery products as well as live or raw shellfish already include the following on the product label:
- The commercial designation of the species of fish (i.e. the name associated with the particular species of fish e.g. the commercial designation for Ghadus morhua is Cod)
- The production method, whether cultivated/farmed or caught at sea or freshwater
- The catch area (this must consist of a) in the case of products caught at sea, a reference to one of the areas mentioned in the Annex to Commission Regulation (EC) 2065/2001 i.e. caught in the North East Atlantic b) in the case of products caught in freshwater, a reference to the Member State or third country of origin of the product and c) in the case of farmed products, a reference to the Member State or third country in which the product undergoes the final development stage. Where the product is farmed in more than one Member State or third country, the various Member States or third countries in which it is farmed can be indicated.
The new food legislation will bring in the following new requirements:
- Mandatory nutritional labelling
- Allergen Labelling
- Allergens must be declared in the ingredient list and must be emphasised in a typeset that clearly distinguishes it from the rest of the ingredients
- Allergen labelling will now apply to non pre-packaged foods (of particular relevance to seafood retailers)
- Category of fishing gear
- Requirement to state if product has been previously frozen and defrosted prior to sale (there are some exemptions)
- Date of freezing
The New legislation refers to food information rather than food labelling and therefore applies not only to the label but also to other accompanying material, or any other means including modern technology tools or verbal communication.
The seminar finished on a positive note with an update on nutrition and health claims relevant to seafood from the FSAI. Delegates were given an insight on how to make the most of their label by informing the consumer of the various nutritional benefits of fish such as ‘high in omega 3’, ‘Source of iodine’, ‘Source of Vitamin E’ and ‘High in Protein’
For further information or clarification on seafood labelling, please contact Eileen Soraghan, BIM, on 01-2144112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For updates on food legislation and to access the information booklet ‘Overview of changes to food labelling introduced under the food information regulation’ please visit the FSAI website http://www.fsai.ie/