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New EU Food Labelling Regulation Could Lead to More Product Liability Claims for Companies, Warns ACE

  New EU Food Labelling Regulation Could Lead to More Product Liability Claims   for Companies, Warns ACE  Business Wire  LONDON -- April 8, 2014  ACE Group today advised that companies in the food and drink industry could face more claims from consumers as a result of new European food labelling regulations that come into force later this year.  The purpose of the new regulation is to make food labelling easier for consumers to understand. It will streamline and simplify the current legislation on food and nutrition labelling into a single EU regulation. Under the new legislation, all food businesses will be required to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged in catering outlets and shops. Existing legislation on labelling will include changes regarding the inclusion of novel ingredients such as nanotechnology and the types of vegetable oil or other ingredients in pre-packed foods.  Connie Germano, regional technical and underwriting casualty manager for Continental Europe at ACE said:  “This important new EU legislation should help reduce the risk of accidental contamination for consumers. As the regulation is rolled out across Europe and public awareness grows, another consequence is that it may drive increased product liability exposure for a wide range of businesses involved in the food production and distribution chain.  “Today a contamination incident can develop into a full-blown crisis for a business almost instantly. At ACE, we believe that comprehensive insurance combined with advance risk assessment, robust food safety systems and crisis management is the best defence.”  Eric Smith, Head of Food Safety and Product Recall for red24assist said:  “The new labelling regulations cover a wide range of foods, including beverages and wine, and require statutory information on water and fat content of specific foods. Companies and especially smaller and middle market businesses need to navigate the conditions created by the new legislation and be able to effectively manage the changing risks they face.”  ACE has offered contaminated product insurance for middle-market companies in Continental Europe since 2012 providing a combination of liability insurance, as well as pre-incident risk management advice and 24/7 crisis support following an incident in conjunction with specialist consultancy red24assist.  Losses covered include recall costs (both first and third party depending on class), redistribution costs, product rehabilitation and/ or restoration costs, destruction costs, extortion costs, business interruption costs (following a contamination incident) and crisis consultancy costs.  Products may not be available in all jurisdictions. The product information above is a summary only. The insurance policy issued contains the terms and limits of the contract.  - ENDS -  Note to editors:  The regulation repeals EC Directive 90/496/EEC on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs and EC Directive 2000/13/EC on food labelling (amongst others) and seeks to combine these two directives into one main statute. The new rules will apply from January 2014 for specific items proceeded by further statutory changes from 13 December 2014 and will be fully implemented as of 13 December 2016.  About ACE GROUP:  ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 54 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of the ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index.  Contact:  ACE Group: Nicholas Mandalas - Regional Communications Manager, EMEA T: +44 20 7173 7793 E: nicholas.mandalas@acegroup.com  
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