Infant formulae and follow on formulae may also be sold by distance selling, e.g. online or by mail order. The provisions of Article 14 of the Food Information Regulation (EU No 1169/2011) are in this case applied to the information that shall be available on prepacked foods before the purchase is concluded. The individual regulations pertaining to infant formulae and follow on formulae shall also be considered as concerns the provision of information.
The same information shall be provided on prepacked foods offered for sale by means of distance communication as on foods sold in normal stores, with the exception of the minimum durability date, the use-by date, the date of freezing and the batch number. However, this information shall be made available to the buyer at the time of delivery.
The owner of the website is responsible for the information provided in distance selling. They shall ensure that the food information is available to the consumer and is correct. The operator under whose name the food is marketed is responsible for the actual labelling information on the food.
Information provided in distance selling
The mandatory food information shall be provided on infant formulae and follow on formulae in distance selling:
- the name of the food (infant formula or follow on formula)
- the list of ingredients
- any substances causing allergies or intolerances
- the quantity of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients (if applicable)
- the quantity of content
- the name, business name or auxiliary business name and address of the responsible food business operator
- the country of origin or place of provenance (if applicable)
- a nutrition declaration
- instructions for preparation, storage and disposal, and a warning against the health hazards of inappropriate preparation and storage.
- correct information about the appropriate use of the product so as not to discourage breast feeding
In addition to the mandatory food information, the following shall be provided on infant formulae:
- the name of the product "infant formula" or "milk-based infant formula" (if manufactured solely from cow's milk protein)
- the product is suitable as nutrition for infants from birth when they are not breast fed
- preceded by the word "Important" or an equivalent expression
- a statement concerning the superiority of breast feeding
- a statement recommending that the product be used only on the advice of independent persons having qualifications in medicine, nutrition or pharmacy, or other professionals responsible for maternal and child care
In addition to the mandatory food information, the following shall be provided on follow on formulae:
- the name of the product "follow on formula" or "milk-based follow on formula" (if manufactured solely from cow's milk protein)
- the product is suitable as nutrition for infants over the age of six months and should form only part of the diet
- it is not to be used as a substitute for breast milk during the first six months of life
- the decision to begin complementary feeding, including any exception to six months of age, should be made only on the advice of independent persons having qualifications in medicine, nutrition or pharmacy, or other professionals responsible for maternal and child care, based on the individual infant's specific growth and development needs
Presenting online information other than labelling information is considered advertising of the infant formula which is only permissible in publications targeted at health care professionals.