Food made with preservatives or other additives is not the only food to be governed by detailed labelling legislation. The regulations require all food for sale to be marked with the name of the food, a list of ingredients, the name and address of the business, and an indication of how long it will last, any special storage requirements, and instructions for use if it would be difficult to use the product without these instructions.
Here are some points to watch when you are labelling your products:
Name of the Food
The name used to describe your product must be precise enough to inform the buyer of its exact nature. If there is a customary name for the food in your area, or a name prescribed by law, then this name must be used. If you think up an attractive name for your product you may use this with a more precise name. For example, you may want to call your marmalade ‘Farmhouse Breakfast’. If so, it must be labelled ‘Farmhouse Breakfast Marmalade’.
List of Ingredients
This list must be headed by the word ingredients. All the ingredients must be included and they must be listed in descending order of weight as determined at the time they were weighed for use in the preparation of the food. Even water must usually be included in the list of ingredients.
The Regulations give a list of generic names that may be used for ingredients, such as cheese, flour, nuts, and sugar, together with details of how these names may need to be modified. Oil, for example, must be accompanied by the description of animal or vegetable, or, if appropriate, by the specific origin of the oil, such as sunflower seed oil.
Name and Address of Maker
The details given here must be sufficient for the producer to be contacted.
Indication of the Life of the Product
The minimum durability of your product must be indicated by the words ‘best before’ followed by the date up to and including that on which the food can reasonably be expected to retain its quality if stored properly. This should be followed by details of storage conditions which may need to be followed if the food is to last until that date.
If the product is a perishable food that is intended for consumption within six weeks, the words ‘best before’ may be replaced by ‘sell by’.
All the information you are required to give must be clearly visible on or through the packaging. It must be easy to read and easy to understand.
Food Labelling Regulations
It is important to check with your local Food Labelling Regulations as some of the above content may change depending on your area.
How to Be Food Safe
Understand and comply with health and safety food standards, to ensure the food you are selling is safe for your customers.
Want to know more about food hygiene and food safety?
For a very low investment, why not download a copy of
‘How to Be Food Safe’ eBook
and find out if your food is safe for your customers.