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Parliamentary questions
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11 June 2019
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002131/2019

According to Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011(1), Member States may adopt national rules concerning the means through which information on allergens is to be made available for non-prepacked foods, including verbal communication.

This should allow Member States to address local practical conditions and circumstances. In this regard, the Commission was informed, mainly through the notifications under Directive (EU) 2015/1535(2), that Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom have already adopted such national rules.

Overall, the concerned Member States are allowing the use of oral means for providing the information on allergenic ingredients of non-prepacked foods. Nevertheless, in order to ensure consumers are informed about allergen information, it is not considered sufficient to provide that information only upon request by the consumer.

For this purpose, the food business operators must clearly indicate in writing that such information can be obtained by asking a member of the staff. Otherwise, written information is required in the immediate vicinity of the food. In some Member States, specific flexibility is granted for establishments such as hospitals or school canteens.

Continuous efforts are made by the Commission to clarify the interpretation of the regulation and to contribute to a harmonised application. Recent audit missions carried out by the Commission in several Member States were specifically focused on this matter.

At this stage, the Commission is not planning to change the existing provisions.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (OJ L 304, 22.11.2017, p.18).
(2)Directive (EU) 2015/1535 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical regulations (OJ L 241, 17.09.2015, p. 1).

Last updated: 13 June 2019Legal notice