Insects as food
Finland has made a reinterpretation of the EU Novel Food Regulation regarding whole insects. The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira is currently drafting guidelines for the food industry concerning the farming, sales and preparation of insects for consumption. The guidelines being prepared in consultation with the insect industry are intended for the food control authorities, insect farmers and companies making foodstuff from insects.
Finland will only allow the use of farmed whole insects. While whole insects may be crushed, ground or dried, no parts (such as wings, legs or head) may be removed, isolated or used for extraction (e.g. fat or protein fractions).
Once the guidelines are completed, insect farmers may register as food business operators whose activities are governed by food legislation and controlled by the authorities. Insect products so produced may be marketed as foodstuffs. For example, insect products currently marketed as decorative kitchen items may not be sold as food because production is not controlled in compliance with food legislation and it has not been possible to verify the safety of the products accordingly.
Insect farmers, manufacturers of insect products and sellers are responsible for ensuring that the foodstuffs produced and marketed by them are safe for consumers. For example, steps needs to be taken to ensure a high standard of hygiene and correct and sufficient labelling. It is also advisable to take into account that insect proteins may cause allergic reactions.
All insect species which have been legally placed on the market as food in Finland or another EU country before 1.1.2018 can be marketed in Finland between 1.1.2018 and 1.1. 2019. All operators may sell and market these insect species and products produced from them as foodstuffs. An application for use as novel food has to be submitted also for these insect species to the Commission by 1.1.2019 so that they can remain on the market after 1.1.2019.
Evira's guide Insects as food (10588/2) is found here