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Not all fish are the same. What does the labeling of the envelope tell us its origin, type and method of fishing?

Since 2014, thanks to Regulation (EU) 1379/2013, of the European Parliament and of the Council, there is a common labeling that applies to all fishery and aquaculture products. This labeling, which is mandatory in all European Union countries regardless of the origin of the product, must be present on all fish: live, fresh, frozen, dry, salty, smoked, crustaceans, mollusks, algae, even fish. fish flour.

What does the labeling tell us?

The following information must appear on the labeling of all fish products that are marketed within the European Union:

Commercial and scientific name: In this section we find the name by which this fish is commonly known in each country. These names must be included in the current legislation of each member country and presented in the official language or languages ​​of each zone. The scientific name must also appear.

Method of production: It must be indicated if the products come from the sea (extractive fishing), if they come from fresh waters (caught in fresh water) or if they are farmed (breeding).

Capture or production area: The geographical area where the fish comes from. In the case of products taken from the sea, the zone or sub-zone in which it has been caught must be specified according to divisions of FAO (Food and Fisheries Organization of the United Nations). For example, a fish taken from the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea zone will appear as such or zone 37. In the case of fish caught in freshwater, the country of origin, and in the case of farmed fish, it must include the country in which the product has reached more than half its final weight, has remained more than half of the rearing period or, in the case of shellfish, has been at least six months in the final rearing or cultivation phase.

If the fish has been thawedIt must be stated, as the consumer will not be able to freeze it again.

Minimum duration date (preferred consumption) and expiration date: As in the rest of food products, the date of packaging, expiration or preferential consumption must be counted. In the case of live bivalve molluscs, the phrase “these animals must be alive at the time of sale” can be substituted.

Presentation mode: In the case of packaged fish, the presentation or treatment to which the product has been subjected must be specified, whether it is gutted, with (C / C) or headless (S / C), filleted, with or without skin or others.

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Price per kilo, and in the case of frozen fish, the RRP of the net drained weight.

In case of frozen fish, if the glaze (application of a layer of ice on the surface of a frozen product) is greater than 5%, the percentage must be indicated.

The Non-fresh packaged products require more information, such as list and quantity of ingredients.

If it fresh produce that is not packaged, but are sold by weight, This information must appear on the boards or posters of the fish in question and must be visible to the public.

Additional Information

In addition to the mandatory information, the producer can provide additional data, such as the date of capture or collection, of landing, on the type of fishing (how it was extracted) from the port and even that related to the sustainability of the product, ethics, etc. This additional information must be verified and may not, in any case, reduce the space available for mandatory information.

In this diptych created by the General Directorate of Management and Inspection of the Community of Madrid, it is specified in a very graphic way what we have to look for in the labeling of the fish products we consume.

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