Celiac disease is an increasingly common condition. In Europe one out of every hundred people is gluten intolerant. For them, eating products containing gluten, found in wheat, barley, rye or oats, can have potentially harmful health consequences. This highlights the importance of accurate labelling to ensure food security. To this end, the European Union has taken measures to increase the information provided to consumers not only in physical stores, but also in online shopping, an increasingly popular practice among consumers.
The food labelling standard currently in force was rolled out in December 2014 as Regulation 1169/2011, which states that European food suppliers and distributors must include additional detailed information on the labelling, even when the sale takes place through a web portal. Consumers need to know the product features before making the purchase, to avoid any possible health hazards.
Regulation 1169 stipulates the aspects that must appear on the label or, where indicated, in the product description on the website. Among them, particular importance is given to substances that cause allergies or intolerance. This is the case of gluten, but also shellfish, eggs, milk, soybeans and others listed in Annex II of the regulation.
Article 36 states that products may also include other additional information voluntarily, provided it is not misleading and is based on scientific data. This ensures greater safety for consumers and prevents irreversible health risks for celiac sufferers and other groups with eating problems.
Responsibility of suppliers and distributors
Compliance with Regulation 1169 requires that suppliers and distributors must keep their product details updated so that the labelling is faithful to the actual situation. In addition, they must be able to display this information properly in their online stores. To streamline this procedure, the EDICOMData solution automatically synchronizes the product databases of both operators and delivers the information in a structured format that can be easily integrated into the web portal.