Appropriate Labelling for Prepacked Foods
It is essential that prepacked foods come with proper labelling to help consumers know more about the products. The food labelling should be accurate and not mislead the consumer in any way.
A few foods, such as the following, come under certain product-specific regulations:
- milk products
● Infant formula
● Irradiated food
● Jams and marmalade
● Cocoa and chocolate products
● Spreadable fats
● Fruit juices and nectars
● Bread and flour
● Meat products – sausages, burgers, and pies
● Natural mineral waters
● Soluble coffee
● Foods containing genetic modification (GM)
What to include
Every prepacked food must include the following labels on its package.
Name of the food
The name should be clear enough for everyone to understand and not mislead anyone.
If the law prescribes any specific name to the respective product, then the seller should use that name.
If there are no legal names, the seller may use a customized name. The name should be common enough for consumers to understand.
If the seller fails to come up with a customized name, it should at least provide a descriptive name that describes or informs the customers about the type of food they are about to buy. This would allow customers to distinguish the food from other products. Most foods that you find in the market have descriptive names.
Processed food should also have a label that specifies the type of processing done. For example, “dried fruits,” or “salted peanuts.”
Processed food usually goes through some sort of alteration during its preparation stage.
List of ingredients
It is also important to add the ingredients used to make the food. Make sure you make a heading called “Ingredients” below which you list all the items you had used to make the product.
You should also remember to label the ingredients according to their weights or the amounts used in the food.
The law permits some foods to not have an ingredient list, such as carbonated water, fresh fruits and vegetables, and foods that contain only a single ingredient. Foods that contain at least two or more ingredients should have a separate ingredients list. If you are in need of eco-friendly label printing then see here.
As declared by the law, 14 ingredients come under the list of allergens. If the food that you are about to sell contains one or multiple allergens from the list, you should mention them under the Allergens List.
Make sure you use a different font colour, style, and background for the allergen list. This would allow customers to understand that the food contains ingredients that may trigger allergies. Many people who are allergic to the respective ingredients will be able to avoid those foods.
Quantitative declaration of ingredients (QUID)
The Quantitative Declaration of Ingredients (QUID) provides an accurate percentage of the respective ingredients that the food contains. It is important to mention the QUID in the following cases:
- If the name of the food mentions one of the ingredients or the ingredient’s name is popular among customers.
● If there is more emphasis on the labelling, graphics, or words on the food’s packaging.
● If there is a need to distinguish the name of the ingredients from the name of the food to avoid confusion.
The quantity of the ingredient or its category must appear in the following manner:
- It should display the percentage of the ingredients used at the time of making the food.
● The quantity of the ingredient should appear right next to the food’s name. You can also mention it in the list of ingredients. Alternatively, you can specify the percentage of the ingredients if you categorise them in a different table.