What are novel foods?
Examples of novel foods are:
- foods containing new ingredients such as cannabidiol (CBD)
- new foods such as spreads with dietary additions to reduce cholesterol
- traditional foods eaten elsewhere in the world such as chia seeds
- foods produced using new treatments such as UV-light to increase Vitamin D in bread
Novel foods are foods that can be described as not having a ‘significant history of consumption’ and these need to be authorised by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Scottish businesses are responsible for ensuring their food is safe and complies with the law.
Novel foods have to be safety evaluated, authorised and approved before they can be sold under the Novel Food Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 2015/2283). This applies to all food that has not been used to a significant degree before May 1997, when the first regulation on novel food came into force.
The legislation is enforced by Scottish local authorities, so if you have any concerns about food products being sold in your area you can contact your local authority.