There are many things that can improve in the food service industry especially when dealing with products being sold. Sometimes food is labeled incorrectly. The use of certain ingredients in supplements can be questionable. Another thing that can be improved is safety and inspection. I will analyzing a case between the European Commission and Italy in regards to the correct labeling of cocoa and chocolate products.
In November 25 2011 the European Commission brought an action against Italy for failing to fulfil the obligations they had when labeling cocoa and chocolate products. The requirements for labeling are in two derectives, Directive 2000/13 and Directive 2000/36 (Defares, 2014). Many companies try to manipulate the consumer when it comes to how they label their products just to sell a little more. They will usually try to make their product sound healthier.
The Italian legislature wanted to use the phrase pure chocolate or say it was pure when the cocoa or chocolate product did not have any vegetable fat in its ingredients. They were able to provide a distinction between products that used vegetable oil and the ones that just used cocoa butter. They felt that is why they could use that adjective or phrase. The European Commission believed it violated the directives.
Facts regarding this case are that the Chocolate directive gives a list of sale names that can be used. The phrase ‘pure chocolate’ is in not the directives list. Consumers are entitled to correct information, and Italian legislature was trying to alter sales names to achieve this.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared that Italy failed to fulfil its obligations under directive 2000/36. (Defares, 2014). The ECJ decided this because Italian legislature tried to use a phrase that was not allowed in the directive 2000/36. The ECJ also found that alteration of sales names is not appropriate. They stated “authorization to introduce sales names that are different from those provided for by the Chocolate Directive 2000/36 would suggest the existence of a difference between the essential characteristics of the products concerned.” (Defares, 2014)
I believe this case addresses an issue that is still fought over constantly and companies are frequently being sued. Food packaging is designed to make people want to buy the product. They put things on their label that make them seem different or like the better option. Some companies are trying to accomplish this by making you feel good about buying their product. One term that is used a lot is farm fresh. “When a food is labelled as “farm fresh” it does not in any way indicate the manner in which the food was raised.” (Langford, 2014) This term does not specify what they ate every day. You don’t know the living conditions of the animals. All you can get from this is that it came from a farm, but all animals and food comes from a farm.
Companies are good at just picking what sounds good or looks good and only mentioning that. I have seen products that advertise sugar free and makes it seem like a healthy option, but sometimes it is to cover up things like having a high fat content. This also applies to food in restaurants. They use similar tricks to lure people into their establishment. Also some restaurants don’t always advertise or have the information available about all the ingredients they use in preparing meals. Some restaurants only offer the macro nutrients in the food.
In conclusion Italian legislature will not be allowed to use the word ‘pure’ or the phrase ‘pure chocolate’ when labeling their products in accordance with Directive 2000/36. This shows how companies will try to set themselves apart in any way they can. Sometimes in unethical ways. There is healthy food out there and from honest companies. Do some research whne buying a new product or even on some you already use. Take care of your bodies.