As product development cycles get shorter, there is an increasing need for a timely, accurate, authoritative and interpretative service, to help ensure that product labels not only meet legal requirements, but also take full account of the considerable array of formal and informal guidance which covers many aspects of food labelling and presentation.
The labelling requirements are complex, and vary from product to product. However, there are certain basic requirements for all pre-packaged food labels and they are as follows:
- a food name – this should be the one that is required by law or a customary name – if neither of these apply, the name must be sufficiently precise to inform a purchaser of the food’s true nature, and distinguish it from products with which it could be confused – (note: a brand name or fancy name can still be used provided it is not substituted for the proper name)
- a list of ingredients, in descending order, by weight.
- Allergen Information
- a percentage quantity indication for certain ingredients or categories of ingredients (also known as a ‘QUID’ declaration)
- a ‘use by’, ‘best before’ or ‘best before end’ date, or possibly a lot or batch number
- any special storage or use conditions
- the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, seller or importer
- place of origin, if its omission could mislead
- any instructions that are necessary to use the food
The new EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers considerably changes existing legislation on food labelling including:
- Nutrition information on processed foods;
- Origin labelling of fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry;
- Highlighting allergens e.g. peanuts or milk in the list of ingredients;
- Better legibility i.e. minimum size of text;
- Requirements on information on allergens also cover non pre-packed foods including those sold in restaurants and cafés.
The new rules will apply from 13 December 2014. The obligation to provide nutrition information will apply from 13 December 2016.
The new law combines 2 Directives into one legislation:
- 2000/13/EC - labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs;
- 90/496/EEC - nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.
We ensure that food labels comply with the requirements of the law and can help you achieve this in a cost effective and flexible manner. Working at any stage, from a development brief to finished artwork, we can advise on product formulation, so that names, claims and descriptions are supportable.
Label review benefits:
- Accelerate your speed to market
- Avoid costly product/process reformulations
- Minimise critical path delays
- Promote supply chain confidence
- Avoid label and product write-off costs
- Enhance your due diligence capabilities
- Build your reputation with enforcement officers
- Stay out of court
- Future proof your labels
For more information on our label review service please contact the Strawberry Standards helpline on 0845 548 8900.