The Department of Health decided to deal with the finalization of the regulations in two phases. The first phase has been concluded with the publication of the new regulations on 1 March 2010, with the contents covering among others, the following aspects:
- “Use by” date: to be mandatory on perishable pre-packaged foodstuffs and a prohibition regarding the sale thereof after the date has expired as it relates to the safety and/or suitability of the products in question, i.e. microbial growth;
- “Best before” date: to be mandatory for non-perishables but no prohibition placed on the sale thereof after the date has expired in view of it relating only to the optimum freshness, thus quality aspects, of these products;
- Batch number and physical address of the manufacturer to ensure traceability;
- Declaration of common food related allergens;
- List of ingredients contains vital information about the contents of the foodstuff e.g. colourants, preservatives, etc.;
- Correctness of nutritional information to support validity of nutrient content claims e.g. “high fibre” or “trans-fat free”, etc.;
- Quantitative Ingredient Declarations (QUID) where special emphasis is placed on the presence of a specific ingredient e.g. % of chicken in a chicken pie; and
- Storage instructions before and after opening.
- Name and physical address of the manufacturer, importer or seller.
- Country of Origin.