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Understanding Food Hygiene and Safety Regulations

Labelling and Food Labels

"Food labels are a useful source of information, primarily to inform and protect consumers. Much of the Agency's current work on labeling is to help make sure that people get the information they need in an understandable form."
UK Food Standards Agency

Mandatory label requirements for pre-packed and loose foods are covered in the handbook. Labelling regulations cover not only the writing on the packaging, but also graphics, shape, advertising and display position of goods. Consumers must not be misled.

The laws on food labeling are under review in Europe's effort to improve consumer health and combat obesity and allergy related illness. Health or nutritional claims for foods and how they must be supported and presented are detailed in the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. 

New laws on Allergens stipulate what must be declared on food labels.  Incorrect labeling could result in your product becoming 'unsafe' and subject to withdrawal or recall.

There are separate rules for:

  • pre-packed foods
  • loose foods
  • eggs

Dates on labels are clearly explained, durability and stock rotation labelling.

Alan Bent on Claims Regulation

Alan Bent, London Food Centre

Make sure you understand the labelling rules