The new labelling rules in Regulation 1169/2011 are amended before even taking effect. This applies to the labelling ”bedst før” on all packaging.

As of 14 December 2014, all food labels must be designed in accordance with the new labelling rules in Regulation no. 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.

Among other things, this means food must not be produced in ”old” packages after 13 December 2014. Food in packages with ”old” labels may, however, be on the market until the end of its durability date.

Changes

However, the new rules are changed before even taking effect.

The Ministry of Food has requested a corrigendum of Regulation 1169/2011, which means that the following rules of law in the Regulation are changed:

  • Quickly frozen will be changed to deep frozen (Annex VI, Part A, point 1 on accompanying information for the name of the food).
  • Sequestrants will be changed to Stabiliser such that it now says both Sequestrants and Stabiliser (Annex VII, part C on names of category for additives).
  • Mindst holdbar til will be changed to bedst før (Annex X on durability labelling, when the date of minimum durability states a specific date – e.g. 13 December 2014).
  • Mindst holdbar til og med will be changed to bedst før udgangen af (Annex X on durability labelling when the date of minimum durability does not state a specific date – e.g. December 2014).
  • Nutritional reference values has been changed to nutrient reference values (NRV) (Annex XIII on reference intakes for vitamins and minerals).

Durability labelling

The wording of the durability labelling has been changed as a consequence of a request from the current Minister for Food. Bedst før and bedst før udgangen af must now be used.

Entry into force

The changes in the corrigendum take effect immediately. However, this does not mean that all food-production undertakings have to change their labelling right away. The change may be implemented in connection with the next reprint of the packaging or in connection with the preparation of new artwork.

The Minister for Food has confirmed in writing to the industry that bedst før must be used on packages by 1 January 2020 at the latest. Also note that if the labelling is in Swedish or Norwegian, the new rules on durability labelling are already complied with, as both the Swedish and Norwegian wordings are similar to the Danish way of spelling.

In Swedish, the statement of durability must be Bäst före and Bäst före utgången av.

And in Norwegian, the statement of durability must be best før and best før utgangen av.

Bech-Bruun’s comments

Please note that several food-production undertakings have already experienced that the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has asked undertakings to destroy all packaging not labelled bedst før and bedst før udgangen af.

In our opinion, it may well be contrary to the principle of proportionality and thereby unjustified to demand that packaging be destroyed merely because the durability labelling has not been changed.

And furthermore, the Minister for Food has promised the industry that the transitional period applies until 1 January 2020.