The food team can provide information to businesses on food labelling, food composition and quality matters.
If you are selling food that is not being sold direct to the final consumer, for example it is being sold via another retailer, then you are required to have the correct labelling on the packaged product in accordance with the Food Labelling Regulations 1996. There are additional labelling requirements for certain products, for example meat, jam, chocolate and baby food. If you need further information on cakes and confectionery see 'Cakes and Confectionery Guidance Notes' booklet in the Related Documents.
The labelling of foods includes menus, packaged foods and loose foods. It is important when labelling foods that you do not mislead the consumer by making claims, for example labelling pre-packaged powdered soup on a menu as ‘homemade’ soup.
Some claims are prohibited. Claims that a food can prevent, treat or cure diseases or other ‘adverse conditions’ are prohibited.
Misleading claims or pictures are not allowed. For example a picture of a strawberry on a strawberry flavoured drink would not be allowed unless the flavouring was made mainly or wholly from real strawberries.
Nutritional claims, such as ‘rich in vitamins’ can be used, but only if the food meets set compositional standards. If a nutritional claim is made then the labelling must give all the nutritional information given in the form laid out in the Food Labelling Regulations 1996. If no nutritional claim is being made then there is no requirement to give the nutritional information, although a lot of manufacturers do for the benefit of the consumer.
If you require further labelling advice then please do not hesitate to contact this department.
The prevalence of food allergens is increasing across the UK with around 1 in 70 adults being affected and 1 in 50 children now having a nut/peanut allergy. The leaflets below have been produced by the Food Standards Agency to help you give information to your customers about foods containing common allergenic ingredients so that they can make an informed decision about what to buy and eat.
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- Food Safety Enquiries
- Tel: 01803 208025