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UK seafood labeling comes in to force

British consumers will now get more information about the seafood they buy, thanks to new rules on the labeling of fish and shellfish sold in the UK

July 22, 2003


British consumers will now get more information about the seafood they buy, thanks to new rules on the labeling of fish and shellfish sold in the UK.

 

The Fish Labeling Regulations introduce enforcement provisions for EU requirements for retailers to label fish and shellfish with details of:

  • the commercial names of species according to a list drawn up by each Member State;

 

  • information on the method of production such as ‘caught at sea’, ‘caught in freshwater’, ‘farmed’ or ‘cultivated’; and

 

 

  • from which of 12 specified areas of the ocean the seafood was caught or, in the case of products caught in freshwater or farmed, the Member State or third country of origin of the product.

 

  • The regulations contain a comprehensive list of the commercial names that apply to all seafood products marketed within the UK to help ensure that species are correctly labeled when sold. Provision is also made for adding species not included on the list.

 

“The Food Standards Agency has worked closely with the seafood industry during the drafting of these labeling rules in Brussels with several of our concerns resolved,” says Peter Wilson, Secretary to the Seafish Food Legislation Advisory Committee.

 

“These new regulations also include traceability requirements. However, not all seafood is included within the scope of the regulations. The rules generally apply to fish and shellfish when sold on their own and not to seafood which is further processed or used as an ingredient such as fish fingers or ready meals.”

 

Seafish has also been working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to produce comprehensive guidance to help businesses comply with the new rules and in particular sets out which products are covered. This is available on the FSA website at: www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/guidancenotes/labelregsguidance/119221

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