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Everything You Need To Know About Food Labelling

Food producers and manufacturers have a legal requirement to label their products correctly. If your business operates in the food industry, you need to make sure your labels follow all the relevant guidelines. Before firing up your labelling machines, make sure you know your responsibilities. It doesn’t matter if you are supplying your products to supermarkets, restaurants or individuals, your food packaging requirements are the same. As specialists in labelling machinery and contract labelling, we know a thing or two about labels and we’re sharing everything you need to know about food labelling.

Food Packaging Requirements And Regulations

All food products are legally required to be appropriately labelled. Businesses can face severe consequences if they fail to follow food packaging laws. No matter if your pre-packaged foods use wrapround labels or top labels, they must include;

  • The food name which should be an honest representation of the product.
  • An ingredient list headed with the word ‘ingredients’ and listing everything used in the product in order of weight.
  • An ingredient percentage if you state a specific ingredient on the packaging. For example, chicken nuggets should state the percentage of the ingredient in the ingredient list, such as ‘chicken (80%)’.
  • Cooking instructions if required. Food that must be cooked should include cooking equipment, time and temperature.
  • Best before or use by dates. Storage instructions to guide customers on the safest way to store your products. This should include instructions for both before and after the packaging has been opened.
  • Country of origin which should be where the product has originally come from, not where it was manufactured.
  • Contact details for your business, including business name, address and country.

Dietary Advice And Nutrition Information

It became a legal requirement in 2016 for food suppliers to display nutritional information on their product labels. Not only is this a legal obligation for your business, but it can benefit your customers by giving them all the information they need to make an informed decision about your product. Your labels must show your product’s energy value, as well as salt, sugars, protein, fat, carbohydrates and more. Not only that, but you need to state the Recommended Daily Amount of these and how your product compares in a percentage.

Pre-packaged food labels also need to display allergen information. If your products contain any of the 14 named allergens, then you are legally required to state this on your labels. The new Natasha’s Law is coming into place this year, which requires any food which is made and pre-packed on-premises directly for sale to include allergens on labelling.

Food Label Design Requirements

Whether you design your own labels, work with a designer, or use contract labelling services, your food labels must follow some design requirements. The labels must be difficult to remove, so self-adhesive labels are a practical choice. All the legally required information should be on one side of the product packaging, so if you are using top and bottom labelling, all the product information should be on the bottom side. All this mandatory information must be displayed using a font that is at least 1.2mm high, or 0.9mm if the package has a surface area less than 80cm2.For further advice and guidance on labelling machines, contract labelling or food labelling requirements, speak with our team of specialists.