For many people, the label on a food product that they buy is often just a fancy decoration. Established brands use their packaging to help their loyal customers locate the products that they love and discover new products and innovations. The likes of Heinz have such iconic branding that customers are instantly drawn to them like moths to a light and instantly place their trust into the produce. Newer brands will use labelling as an attempt to procure new custom with the use of clever imagery and aspirational marketing.
However, there are many laws that need to be adhered to on a food label. Strict rules and regulations must be followed carefully, lest the producer face legal action and considerable backlash. For those who feel as though they have been cheated by a product here are a few of the Food Safety Regulations that Food Labelling must follow.
If a product is not how it is described on the packaging or a menu without prior warning, then a complaint can be made. The affected party is within their own right to seek a refund or a replacement. Alternatively, a complaint to the manufacturer can be made directly and trading standards should be notified. Taking action will not affect the party’s statutory rights.
A food label must not be misleading, false or exaggerated in any form. What is advertised must be supplied. This includes the name of the food. The ingredients of the food must be included on the label in descending order of weight. Additives and flavourings must also be contained in the ingredient list. If the product contains any genetically modified soya beans or maize, this must be clearly stipulated.
The appropriate date mark must be present and any special storage conditions and usage conditions. This prevents the consumer from consuming the product in a harmful state or manner. Instructions for use, if applicable, must be clear and stated.
The name and address of the manufacturer and packer must be clearly stated as must the place of origin. These details need to be specific as to not mislead anybody who is purchasing the product. The weight or quantity of the product must be given in metric measurement. Supplementary details can be provided in imperial measurements. If a claim about the nutritional value of the product is made, nutritional details in a specified form must be provided by 100g or 100ml of the food.