From nutritional information, to where the food was made or storage advice, consumers want to be kept informed. To keep things simple, we’ve put together a few pointers here to help you navigate the mass information available.
The following information must feature on food packaging:
Must include as a minimum:
This is the name of the product. If the product has a “made-up” name, the actual name of the food, which must be as precise as possible, can be located in the list of ingredients.
The country of origin or provenance of ingredients must be indicated, since in the absence of such information, the consumer could be misled as to the country of origin or true provenance of the product.
Identification mark: this oval-shaped mark indicates that the establishment where the product was manufactured has been approved by the department for veterinary services for the processing of food of animal origin in accordance with Community hygiene rules.
Green Dot: this logo certifies that the manufacturer is part of the Eco-packaging programme, which subsidises selective collection and sorting of packaging waste for recycling.
Official quality designations: there are a number of official quality indicators that may feature on packaging, such as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or organic farming. To qualify for one of these labels, the product must meet a number of specifications, and compliance is regularly audited by approved bodies.
AB certification identifies products that are 100% organic or contain at least 95% organic agricultural products in the case of processed products. This logo is the exclusive property of the Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Forestry, which defines its usage.
Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) identifies an agricultural product, raw or processed, whose quality, reputation or other characteristics are linked to its geographical origin.
Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) indicates a product whose main production steps are carried out according to recognised practice in the same geographical area, which gives the product its specific characteristics. It is a European sign that protects the product name throughout the European Union.
Controlled Designation of Origin (CDO) or AOC (appellation controlee) applies to products that meet the criteria of PDO and protect the name in France. It is a step towards the PDO, which is now a European symbol.
Storing charcuterie requires rigorously adhering to the temperature-controlled supply chain (or cold chain) at all times. From production site to the home, a number of food safety rules must be closely followed.
Each stage in the charcuterie production process is rigorously controlled not only by producers, but also by French authorities. Each product is identified by a lot number which ensures traceability and end-to-end supply chain visibility.
Additional measures, introduced by producers for a number of years now, also play a vital role in guaranteeing the safety of prepared meats for consumers. These include the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, staff hygiene training, validating use-by dates and formulating and implementing a best practice food safety guide, fully compliant with the official Charcuterie code of practice (French: Code des Usages de la Charcuterie).
Transporters and the retail sector in its entirety, intermediaries between producers and consumers, must also adhere to essential hygiene rules to safeguard food safety. To this end, products must be stored at the right temperature, between 0 – 4°C. If prepared meat products are sold freshly-cut from the deli counter, retailers must also handle the products following the strictest best hygiene practice to ensure food safety.
Food safety and safe handling of charcuterie and deli products also extends to the home, and relies on consumers being alerted to the importance of following a number of best practice rules:
To avoid spoilage, a number of additional rules should also be followed:
french cold meats