Wednesday, November 23, 2011

EU passes mandatory nutrition labeling regulation

Since the vote of the European Parliament in July, we have been waiting for the EU Food Information Regulation to be issued in final form. It was published in the Official Journal (L) of the European Union on November 22. The citation is Reg. (EU) 1169/2011. OJ(L) 304/18, 22 Nov 2011.

This Regulation revises 20 years of EP and EC Directives and Regulations. Among the changes, the regulation requires nutrition label declaration of the "Big 7"—energy, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein, and salt by Dec. 13, 2016. There are also new rules on allergen labeling and legibility. The regulation introduces a minimum font size of 1.2 mm for all mandatory label information, and 0.9 mm for products whose packaging has a largest surface of less than 80 square cm.

The full text of the Regulation (66 pages), European Union's Food Information to Consumers Regulation, is available at: Hat tip to Charles Woodhouse.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Symposium: The Role of Public and Private Regulation in Detecting and Responding to Foodborne Disease Outbreaks

A symposium will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on November 21, 2011, 1:30 to 4:30pm. In this final event, a multidisciplinary team will evaluate and compare the current systems for detecting and responding to foodborne outbreaks in the U.S. and the European Union. In the context of recent, produce-related foodborne outbreaks in the EU and the US, the team will examine and compare the respective approaches, assessing challenges in surveillance, detection, trace-back and identification of a contaminated food item. Finally, we will consider lessons learned from recent outbreaks by examining issues of public health, responsibilities of industry, and comparisons of regulatory frameworks.

Those speaking include;
— Dr. Jeri Barak-Cunningham, Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin – Madison. "Fresh produce – no longer surprising but now a major source of foodborne illness." 
—  Dr. Robert Tauxe, Deputy Director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, US CDC. "The cycle of public health:  Can we detect, investigate,and control foodborne outbreaks faster?"
— Dr. Jordi Serratosa-Vilageliu, EFSA Liaison Officer at FDA.  "Improving public health decision making with tools of risk analysis."

To register, please send an email to Lorna Zach ( with your name, affiliation, and email contact information. A webcast may be available.