As of 20 October 2016, new legal provisions are in place in
Romania setting out how consumers should be informed of products
that use frozen foods in their preparation. In this respect, the
consumer protection authority enacted Order 183/2016
("Order 183") published in the Official
Gazette on 20 September 2016. The document's provisions set out
the requirements for adequate consumer information, which need to
be observed by:
economic operators that sell bread,
baked products, and pastry products obtained from frozen food
products (the "operators") in Romania;
mass caterers that use frozen food in
the preparation of their menu items (the
According to Order 183, the term "frozen food"
includes the following categories of products: bread and baked
products, pastry products, meat / products of animal origin,
vegetables and fruit.
Mass caterers are defined in EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the
provision of food information to consumers, as any establishment
(including a vehicle or a fixed or mobile stall), such as
restaurants, canteens, schools, hospitals and catering enterprises
in which, in the course of a business, food is prepared to be ready
for consumption by the final consumer.
According to Order 183, operators and caterers have to inform
consumers through a notice placed in a conspicuous place, which is
legible and, where appropriate, permanent. For instance a label or
sticker on the packaging, or another surface on the product, and
the label should read "frozen/from frozen product".
Order 183 is based on the need to ensure that the consumer
receives better information regarding products on sale, since
consumers can be misled when they cannot tell which of the products
were frozen and, later, defrosted.
In the future, we expect authorities to increase the frequency
of inspections aimed at ensuring the observance of the new
regulations, since Order 183 clearly states that authorities can
carry out inspections whenever they deem necessary.
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