UK Legal requirements for food and drink labelling

For prepacked food and drink labelling in the UK, there are the following minimum legal requirements. These can be applied to products or in documents that accompany the consignment. They are in no particular order. Some of these are required to be on the front of the packaging. There are also requirements regarding the size of font that must be used for certain information, such as weights and the text of the mandatory information.

If in doubt, speak to your local Primary Authority or Trading Standards department.

 

    From 1st October 2021, there are a set of requirements which are needed for products which are prepacked for direct sale, or PPDS. There is more information in this blog.
Natasha's Law

Mandatory

  • Legal name of the product.
  • Ingredients declaration in descending order , as well as a QUID declaration. (Quantitative Ingredients Declaration)
  • Any warnings about specific ingredients, including novel ingredients such as chia seeds
  • Durability coding (Use by or Best Before)
  • Weight or volume using metric units. There must also be an indication of average  or minimum weight. (More information is here). The weight must also be labelled in the same field of vision as the name of the food and its alcoholic strength where appropriate.
  • Ingredients or processing aids causing allergies or intolerances that are stated in the 14 Allergens.
  • Intentionally used allergens or allergen derivatives need to be highlighted in some manner.
  • Special storage conditions and/or conditions of use such as refrigerate once opened and eat with so many days. 
  • Name or business name and address of the food business operator (Manufacturer, Retailer or Packer)
  • instructions for use, for example cooking instructions. 
  • nutritional declaration in the required format
  • an origin statement (for some products and in some circumstances)

Product specific

The following may also have to be added, if appropriate:

  • drinks with an alcohol content above 1.2% have to carry a warning
  • if the product contains GM ingredients, unless their presence is accidental and 0.9% or less, there has to be a warning to this effect.
  • if the product has been irradiated, a warning must be applied.
  • the words ‘packaged in a protective atmosphere’ if the food is packaged using a packaging gas
  • Country of origin declaration..