Food labelling is essential. It is not just one of the legal requirements for food producers, it also serves as information so that consumers can make an informed decision when they buy food. It also helps them with safely using and storing food.
Whether you are supplying supermarkets or restaurants, the requirements will be the same. For this reason, you need to understand what you are responsible for and the importance of food packaging. If you are a business and are in need of eco label printing then see here.
Legal Requirements For Packaged Foods
Food producers are required legally to label their products appropriately. Failure to adhere to these laws can result in severe consequences. If an authority has deemed you non-compliant, you will first be served with an “improvement notice”, which details what you have done wrong, the rules you might have broken, followed by the steps required of you to make sure you are compliant as well as the date they expect you to make these changes by.
You will be allowed to carry on production after receiving this important notice. However, you will be required to take every outlined step to make sure your business is compliant within a specified timeframe. If you have chosen to ignore your “improvement notice” and you remain non-compliant after your specified date, then you might face prosecution for committing such an offence.
Want To Find Out More?
The Food Labelling Regulations Course we have on offer was designed and planned by experts in the food industry to assist companies in understanding how to correctly and legally label their products. This course applies to any food business that packages food that they sell directly to consumers.
Any pre-packaged food product is required to include this type of information on each of its labels:
The name of the product. This should honestly represent the product and should not be misleading or false.
The ingredients list. You are required to use the word “Ingredients” as your heading followed by listing each ingredient that was used to produce the product. This should be in descending order according to weight.
You also need to state the percentage of each ingredient. If you are emphasising certain ingredients on your packaging, such as “Chicken Burgers”, you are required to state the ingredient’s quantity and the percentages in your ingredients list. For example Chicken (75%). This is also required if you have highlighted an ingredient using a graphic or picture. This could include a cartoon grape on a yoghurt packaging, or when the product needs to be distinguished.
You also need instructions on how to use the product. This can include cooking instruction when needed. This will include the temperature, cooking equipment, cooking time, or any other instructions that are required to prepare the product.
“Best Before” and “Use By” dates. These dates are important for consumers when it comes to safely using and storing food products, and also help to reduce food wastage.
Storage instruction. These are instructions that help customers to store their products safely after and before opening a package, and also ensure that the food stays safe to eat. For example, “Once opened refrigerate and consume within 3 days” or “Store in a dry, cool place”.
Contact details. You need to include the country that your business operates from, the contact address, and your business name.
Provenance or country of origin. You are not allowed to imply that a product originates from a place where you manufactured it when you have sourced the product from someplace else. For example, if you use tuna in a product that was caught in Canada and then shipped to the UK where it was pre-packed and produced into a meal, you are not allowed to state that the product is British tuna.
If you need additional information relating to legal requirements when it comes to packaging food, refer to our post on the Food Labelling Regulations 2018.