EU Food Traceability Laws section picture

EU Food Traceability Laws

There is an extensive list of laws and regulations in place in Ireland regarding the manufacture, processing, packaging and service of food and beverage products. For the latest list of laws and regulations please consult the Legislation section of the FSAI website.


Useful links:

Regulation (EC) 178/2002

General Principles of Food Law.

Regulation EC No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council was first circulated on the 28th January 2002. The regulation is responsible for laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down the procedures in matters of food safety.

The Regulation came into effect on the 1/1/2005 and requires that all food and feed business operators (including beverages) at all stages of production, processing and distribution shall have in place systems and procedures in place to identify

  • (a) any person from whom they have been supplied with a food, a feed, a food producing animal, or any substance intended or expected to be incorporated into a food or feed.
  • (b) the other businesses to which their products have been supplied.
  • This information shall be made available to the competent authorities on demand.

Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004

Materials and Articles intended to come in to contact with Foodstuffs

EC No 1935 / 2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food was introduced on 27th October 2004. The principle underlying this regulation is that any material or article intended to come into contact directly or indirectly with food must be sufficiently inert to preclude substances from being transferred to food in quantities large enough to endanger human health or to bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food.

Under Article 17 it states that:

  • Traceability of materials and articles shall be ensured at all stages in order to facilitate control, the recall of defective products, consumer information and the attribution of responsibility.
  • Business operators shall have in place systems and procedures to allow identification of the businesses from which and to which materials/articles and where appropriate, substances/products covered by this regulation and its implementing measures used in their manufacture are supplied. This information shall be made available to the competent authorities on demand.
  • The materials and articles which are placed on the market in the Community shall be identifiable by an appropriate system which allows their traceability by means of labelling or relevant documentation of information.
    Article 17 shall apply from the 27th October 2006.

Council Directive 2000/13/EC

Labelling, Advertising and Presentation of Foodstuffs

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1760/2000

Identification and registration of bovine animals and the labelling of beef and beef products.


Outside of EU law food manufacturers also need to be aware of and comply with the US Bioterrorism Act, if exporting food or beverage products to the US.