Most packaged food in Australia is required to have a food label.

It is important that the information on the food labels you apply to your products meets the requirements of the Food Standards Code.

Functional Food Safety are food labeling experts. We can advise your food business on your food labeling needs or review your current food labeling for compliance.

Food labels must the following information:-

The name or description of the food.

Foods must be labeled with an accurate name or description. e.g. Chopped vine ripened tomatoes.

The identification of a “lot” of the food.

Lot identification can come in many forms such as batch numbers or date codes. The best before or use by dates can also be the lot numbers provided they are able to identify the lot.

The name and street address of the suppler of the food.

This can be the manufacturer, marketer or importer of the food. It is not acceptable to use a post office box, website address or a facebook site as a business address.

A list of the ingredients and additives.

Ingredients must be listed in descending order by ingoing weight. Additives must also be identified by their additive number. This assists consumers who are sensitive to additives to identify them and avoid consuming them.

A statement of the shelf life (use by or best before).

All packaged foods with a shelf life of less than 2 years must have a statement of shelf life. The “use by” date indicates the date after which the packaged food must not be consumed for food safety reasons. It is illegal to sell food past its use by date. The “best before” date means that foods may be safe to eat after that date however they may not retain the qualities implied on the food label such as taste, texture, colour or flavour.

A nutrition information panel.

Most packaged foods require a nutrition information panel (NIP) however there are a few exceptions where the size of the package makes them impractical or where foods are packed at the point of sale. The information must be presented in a standard format which shows the amount per serve and per 100g or 100ml of the food.

The country of origin.

All packaged food in Australia must state

  • the country in which the food was made, grown or produced,
  • the country where the food was manufactured or packaged,
  • the balance of ingredients, imported into that country or from a mix of local and imported ingredients.

Warning and advisory statements.

Some foods, food ingredients and components of ingredients may be harmful to some people and can cause severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis. The Food Standards Code requires all food businesses in NSW to provide information about the 8 most common allergens on food labels of packaged foods:

  • peanut
  • tree nut
  • egg
  • milk
  • fish
  • crustacean
  • sesame
  • soy

Gluten and sulphites must also be declared on food labels of packaged foods.

Directions for use and storage.

Where specific storage conditions are required for a food product to keep until its use by or best before date they must be stated on the label. e.g. store below 5 degrees c or keep frozen.

Your labels must tell the truth.

It is an offence to provide false or misleading or deceptive information on a food label. e.g. a label that states 100% Australian must not contain imported products or ingredients.

Contact Functional Food Safety today for a free consultation.

Links

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

 

Food Labeling

 

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