Irish food authority safeguards businesses selling food online

Irish food authority safeguards business selling food online
Credit: ESB Professional

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has released a new guide assisting food businesses to comply with legislative requirements in selling food online.

Promoting and selling food online has become commonplace, leaving many wondering to what extent they are bound to the same regulations as in store.

The new guide published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) aims to help food producers and suppliers comply with their legislative regiments in order to safeguard the health and rights of consumers.

Selling or Advertising Food Online sets out the information that must be provided to consumers by food businesses promoting or selling food online via websites or social media.

It is the first guide that specifies what a business must do to comply with the law to ensure that consumers get the same information online, before making a purchase, as they would if they bought the product in a store.

The legislation around labelling, advertising, health claims, nutrition claims and allergen declarations apply to foods sold online, as well as over the counter.

The FSAI’s guide reminds food businesses of the mandatory food information that they must provide to their customers (before they complete their purchase) and covers the types of claims that can and cannot be made about food.

It also highlights other legal requirements such as: registering a food business; temperature control during delivery; having a food traceability system in place; and informing customers about product recalls.

The requirements to provide allergen information for non-prepacked food sold online – such as that sold from takeaways and supermarket/deli counters – is also highlighted.