E-commerce: the legal stuff you need to know before selling food online
When you sell food online into Europe, the food you sell is subject to the full body of EU food law including hygiene & safety, traceability, product withdrawal, recall procedures and labelling.
You must ensure that you make the same level of consumer information available to your customers, via your website, as when the food is bought from a high street retail shop, including;
Selling food online is known as distance selling and is governed by The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations. These regulations state that you must provide ‘prior information’ to help the consumer decide whether to buy from you and is applicable regardless of which country a supplier is based.
‘Prior information’ must include:
Furthermore, if you want to supply substitute goods because the ones you agree to supply are not available, you must explain this, and make it clear that you will meet the costs of returning any substitutes the customer does not want.
You are exempt from the regulations if you make a one-off distance sale in response to a request from a customer. However, this exemption does not apply if you have organised your business to regularly deal with “one-off” requests.
For more information about food labelling and the requirements to sell food online please contact a member of our team on +44 345 548 8900 or email email@example.com.