| ALL supermarket products must clearly display the difference between the 'sell-by' and 'use-by' date, both of which should be in a minimum-sized font in order to be legible.
This EU directive will apply to all groceries from December 2014 onwards, three years after it was passed.
Spokesman for Spain's National Consumer Institute, Carlos Arnáiz, said in a press conference this week that customers have the right to know as much as possible about what they buy and consume.
He said the 'sell-by' date means a product may be less effective, pleasant or of reduced quality once this has passed – such as biscuits becoming soft or bread going hard – but once the 'use-by' date has gone by, consumption of the product can be harmful to health.
Likewise, nutritional information must be complete and should draw attention to such matters as possible risk to those allergic to any of the ingredients, or high levels of caffeine, sugar or saturated fat.
Where caffeine levels are high, this should be made clear and accompanied by a warning that the product is not suitable for pregnant or breast-feeding women or for small children.
Frozen food packaging must show the date upon which the goods were first frozen.
All labels must be written in one of the official languages of the EU and always one which is easy to understand by the lay citizen in the country of distribution.