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11 Things That You Need to Have on a Food Label

When packaging food, you must use certain packaging that is appropriate for food use. Suitable packaging will have a symbol that looks like a wine glass or fork or possibly could be marked with the text “for food contact.” You must follow set rules when using plastics, ceramics, and cellophane for packaging. This is known as a ‘declaration of compliance,’ and you’ll be able to acquire this from your packaging supplier.

Certain foods are exempt from nutrition labelling, such as ready-to-eat food that is not for immediate consumption but prepared on site. For example, products from a bakery. Other products that don’t contain lots of nutrients are also exempt, such as coffee, tea, and some types of spices.

A Round up – 11 Things That You Need to Have on a Food Label

Below is a quick summary of what information should be on a food label. We have expanded more on each of the points later on in this blog. 

  1. Name of food 
  2. List of ingredients 
  3. Allergen information
  4. Quantitative declaration of ingredients
  5. Net quantity
  6. Storage conditions and date labelling
  7. Name and address of the manufacturer
  8. Country of origin 
  9. Preparation instructions
  10.  Nutritional declaration
  11. Additional information

We’ve broken down what information you should include within your food label to make the process of creating your desired label much easier. With some critical information about how you should display allergen information and net quantity, you should be able to create your perfect label with ease and include all the correct information.  

Below is the following information that must appear by law on food labels and packaging for foods that aren’t exempt. 

1. Name of the food

The name of the food should be specified on the packaging, and should only display information that is true and accurate. If there is a name set in law for your product then this must be used. However, in the absence of a legal name, a customary name can be used. An example of a customary name could be ‘flapjack’ or ‘liquorice allsorts.’ If there is not a customary name for the product, then a descriptive name of the food needs to be shown. This must be accurately descriptive to ensure consumers are not confused or misled.

If the food has been processed in a particular way, then the process needs to be included within the title, for example, ‘roasted peanuts.’ Processed foods is any type of food that has been altered during preparation.

2. List of ingredients

Ingredients need to be listed in order of weight, and the main ingredient needs to be listed first. Some foods don’t need to list ingredients, such as fresh fruit or vegetables or foods that consist of a single ingredient.

3. Allergen information

If the product contains any of the 14 allergens, then the allergens must be listed within the ingredients list. The 14 allergens are: celery, cereals containing gluten (such as barley and oats), crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs, and lobsters), eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs (such as mussels and oysters), mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million) and tree nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, and macadamia nuts).

This also relates to other substances which are present in the final food product.

Allergens must be emphasised on the food label by using a different font or bolding the text. It is vital to ensure allergens are prominent on the food label so people can understand more about the ingredients within the packaged food. This is extremely helpful for people who have certain food allergies or intolerances.

4. Quantitative declaration of ingredients (QUID)

Quantitative declaration of ingredients highlights the percentage of particular ingredients within a food product.

QUID can appear in the name of the food or be emphasised on the labelling in words or pictures. According to the FSA, the indication of quantity of ingredient or category ingredients must be displayed as a percentage that corresponds to the quantity of the ingredient or ingredients at the time of its/their use. It can also appear either in or immediately next to the name of the food or in the list of ingredients in connection with the ingredient or category of ingredients in question.

5.  Net quantity

Packaged foods above either 5g or 5ml must highlight the net quantity on the food label to comply with Food Information Regulations. Food that are packaged in liquid must also display the drained net weight.

6. Storage conditions and date labelling

Food labels need to be marked with either a ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date so that it’s evident how long foods can be stored and kept.

7. Name and address of manufacturer

Food labels must include a business name and address. This can be the name of the business whose name the food is marketed under or the address of the business that has imported the food. The address you provide needs to be a physical address where your business can be contacted via mail. It’s not possible to use or to use an e-mail address or phone number. 

8. Country of origin or place or provenance

It is mandatory to state the country of provenance on your food labels to ensure you’re not misleading customers and providing incorrect information.

9. Preparation instructions

Instructions on how to prepare and cook or microwave the packaged food appropriately must be shown on the label if needed. If the food needs to be heated, the oven temperature and cooking time is normally stated.

10. Nutritional declaration

Nutrition declaration must be obviously stated in a precise format and provide values for energy and six nutrients. The nutrition declaration must also meet the minimum font size requirements.

11. Additional labelling requirements

For particular food and drink products, you must state on your food label or packaging if your products contain sweeteners or sugars, aspartame and colouring, liquorice, caffeine, or polyols.

Shop our range of custom food labels today. If you’re still unsure about what information has to be on food labels, then get in touch with a member of our team, and we’ll be happy to help. 

*Please note: The 11 points above are required on all pre-packaged food labels, this information is enforced by the Food Law Code of Practice (England) and needs to be met in all circumstances.  

Final Thoughts on Food and Packaging Labels

Hopefully this blog has outlined the important pieces of information that must appear on food and packaging labels so that you can get started with creating your desired label.  

Find our label materials that we recommend for food and packaging labels:

Peel and reveal labels

Permanent labels

Gloss white polypropylene labels 

If you would like any more information, please contact one of our friendly team at Roll Labels – who are always happy to help