Last updated on 22 October 2013
New regulations on contaminants, food additives, flavourings, enzymes and extraction solvents
New regulations on contaminants in food, and on food additives, flavourings, enzymes and extraction solvents, will come into force on 31 October 2013 in England. Parallel legislation will be established in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Food additives, flavourings, enzymes and extraction solvents
The Food Additives, Flavourings, Enzymes and Extraction Solvents (England) Regulations 2013 revoke and remake in a single consolidated instrument all ‘food additive’ type legislation. This will help businesses and enforcement officers identify the relevant legislation in this area.
There are no significant changes to existing rules in the new Regulations. The minor amendments made to the food additives and flavourings rules are detailed below. Additionally, the provisions of extraction solvents have been simplified and will now directly refer to the Annex of the European Directive on Extraction Solvents.
In summary, the 2013 Regulations:
- Update the food additive legislation to reflect the establishment of Annexes II and III to the Food Additive Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008 and no longer refersto the transitional measure for the previous additive directives.
- Introduce the use of compliance notices for non-food safety related contraventions, such as labelling provisions for business to business sales. For food safety offences, existing criminal sanctions will apply.
- Reflect the different dates of application of the European Union (positive) list of flavourings, and take account of the new transitional periods as set out in Commission Regulation (EU) No. 873/2012.
- Revoke The Food (Suspension of the Use of E 128 Red 2G as Food Colour) (England) Regulations 2007 No. 2266. This is no longer required because Red 2G is not listed as a permitted additive under the current Food Additive Regulations.
The Food Additives, Flavourings, Enzymes and Extraction Solvents (England) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013 No. 2210 (ISBN 978-0-11-110354-8)) can be found via the 'External sites' links on this page.
Contaminants in food
The Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2013 revoke the Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2010 and remake them with necessary amendments.
These amendments provide for the enforcement of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 610/2012, amending Commission Regulation (EC) No 124/2009 resulting from the unavoidable carry-over of these substances in non-targeted feed. The amendments also enforce Commission Regulation (EU) No 1258/2011.
The new Regulations also:
- Introduce the use of ambulatory references for the purposes of Commission Regulation (EC) No 124/2009 and Commission Regulation (EC) 1881/2006, as the ambulatory provision in the 2010 Regulations only refers to the Annex to Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006. Ambulatory references will also apply to Directives 76/621/EEC and 80/891/EEC.
- Revoke the Mineral Hydrocarbons in Food Regulations 1966 (purely national and not EU-derived), which are no longer required as EU General Food Law will apply if there are any consumer health concerns as regards their use as processing aids. The Regulations also revoke specific EU controls on mineral hydrocarbon, additives and contaminant residues, and revoke and remake the provisions of the Erucic Acid in Food Regulations 1977, as amended. This consolidates the changes in the 2013 Regulations into a single statutory instrument.
- Make an amendment to the provisions currently contained in the 2010 Regulations in order to rectify an under-enforcement of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006. Article 5 of that Regulation provides specific provisions for the labelling of groundnuts, other oilseeds, derived products thereof and cereals.
The Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013 No. 2196 (ISBN 978-0-11-110347-0)) can be found via the 'External sites' links on this page.
Guidance on understanding the European Food Additives Regulation has been produced and can be found via the link below.
Additionally, guidance on compliance notices and the Contaminants Regulations will be published in due course.