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What You Need To Know About Food Labelling

Labelling on food packaging helps both manufacturers and customer alike. With the introduction of Food Labelling Regulations by the European Union in 1996, it made it a legal requirement to include certain information on all food labelling on pre-packaged items. This is to help protect consumers and give them all the information they may need about what is in their food. The information required by law includes:

  • Manufacturer’s name
  • Name of the product
  • Description of the product
  • Weight
  • Ingredients – These have to be listed in descending order of weight and subsequently the highest percentages within the product
  • Cooking/Heating instructions
  • Storage instructions
  • Expected shelf life
  • Place of origin
  • Allergy information – This includes any warnings about the environment or factory that the food was produced and packed in

Manufacturer and companies often include additional information such as:

  • Illustration or photograph of the product – This is often shown as a serving suggestion
  • Recommended retail price
  • Nutritional values of the product
  • Customer guarantee
  • The batch-code and bar-code numbers
  • Opening instructions

Nutritional values are information for those with specific dietary requirements and conditions which are affected by the food we eat. These can include coeliac disease and gluten intolerances.

The labelling information usually includes statistics and figures about the nutritional values of the food, including energy and calories. They are usually displayed as kilojoules (kJ) or kilocalories (kcal) within a table. This also has values of protein, carbohydrates, fat, saturated fat, sugars, sodium and salt levels. These are usually displayed per 100g and also for the recommended portion size.

The Food Standards Agency have also devised a traffic light system that the majority of large supermarkets have incorporated into their own brand ranges. This is a clear and simple diagram using colour coding to inform customers easily about the nutritional content of the food they are purchasing. It also helps people make healthier decisions when they are choosing items as they can simply compare the coloured segments on the diagram. The red means the level is high, amber is medium and green is low. Generally items with mostly green segments are healthier than food with more red and amber segments.

In addition to the colours, it also gives percentages of your recommended intakes for fat, sugars and salt. This is helpful as on the front of the packaging, it often gives these values per portion so you can easily see what you will be consuming.

Food labelling also need to contain warning dates such as Use By and Best Before. This helps the consumer know whether the food is safe to eat still or is past its prime condition. Often food items will have additional information such as Display Until and Sell By. This is only for retailers and shop staff for stock rotation and price reductions. 


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What You Need To Know About Food Labelling

Labelling on food packaging helps both manufacturers and customer alike. With the introduction of Food Labelling Regulations by the European Union in 1996, it made it a legal requirement to include certain information on all food labelling on pre-packaged items. This is to help protect consumers and give them all the information they may need about what is in their food. The information required by law includes:

  • Manufacturer’s name
  • Name of the product
  • Description of the product
  • Weight
  • Ingredients – These have to be listed in descending order of weight and subsequently the highest percentages within the product
  • Cooking/Heating instructions
  • Storage instructions
  • Expected shelf life
  • Place of origin
  • Allergy information – This includes any warnings about the environment or factory that the food was produced and packed in

Manufacturer and companies often include additional information such as:

  • Illustration or photograph of the product – This is often shown as a serving suggestion
  • Recommended retail price
  • Nutritional values of the product
  • Customer guarantee
  • The batch-code and bar-code numbers
  • Opening instructions

Nutritional values are information for those with specific dietary requirements and conditions which are affected by the food we eat. These can include coeliac disease and gluten intolerances.

The labelling information usually includes statistics and figures about the nutritional values of the food, including energy and calories. They are usually displayed as kilojoules (kJ) or kilocalories (kcal) within a table. This also has values of protein, carbohydrates, fat, saturated fat, sugars, sodium and salt levels. These are usually displayed per 100g and also for the recommended portion size.

The Food Standards Agency have also devised a traffic light system that the majority of large supermarkets have incorporated into their own brand ranges. This is a clear and simple diagram using colour coding to inform customers easily about the nutritional content of the food they are purchasing. It also helps people make healthier decisions when they are choosing items as they can simply compare the coloured segments on the diagram. The red means the level is high, amber is medium and green is low. Generally items with mostly green segments are healthier than food with more red and amber segments.

In addition to the colours, it also gives percentages of your recommended intakes for fat, sugars and salt. This is helpful as on the front of the packaging, it often gives these values per portion so you can easily see what you will be consuming.

Food labelling also need to contain warning dates such as Use By and Best Before. This helps the consumer know whether the food is safe to eat still or is past its prime condition. Often food items will have additional information such as Display Until and Sell By. This is only for retailers and shop staff for stock rotation and price reductions. 


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