Food labels: from 9 May 2018 the irregular labeling will be sanctioned.

9 March 2018

On 8 February 2018, the Gazzetta Ufficiale published the new Legislative Decree no. 231/2017 which shows the new applicative provisions and the sanctions related to EU Reg. No. 1169/2011 on the labeling of food and allergens, regulations that will come into force from May 9th 2018.

The decree will come into force 90 days after its publication, or May 9, 2018. To leave the opportunity for food business operators to adapt, until this date the provisions of the Legislative Decree of 27 January 1992 remain in force, n. 109.


Legislative Decree 12/15/17 n. 231, provides to sanction the following infractions:

  • violation of fair information practices
  • non-compliance by food business operators related to information obligations
  • failure to provide mandatory information on pre-packaged food products
  • irregularities in exposure, presentation and positioning of indications
  • irregularities in distance selling


The legislation provides for penalties for the lack of the following mandatory indications on the label:

  • the name of the food product
  • the list of ingredients that compose it
  • an indication of the food allergens contained
  • an indication of the quantity of ingredients
  • an indication of the net quantity
  • storage time
  • the expiry date
  • the freezing date
  • indication of provenance
  • the alcoholic strength
  • nutritional declarations

Finally, the decree establishes penalties for the lack of elements that make it possible to identify the lot to which the food in question belongs and the sale of non-prepacked food products through automated distribution means (distributors and automated premises).

To facilitate the transition and adaptation, the legislation will not have retroactive effects. In fact, foods placed on the market or labeled before May 9, 2018, which do not comply with the decree, may be marketed until stocks are exhausted.

Food placed on the market with an adequate written correction of information that does not comply with the provisions of the decree will be excluded from sanctions. Supplies to non-profit organizations will also be excluded for the subsequent free transfer to indigent persons, in case of labeling irregularities, provided they do not affect the expiry date or information on substances that may cause allergies or intolerances.


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