10 Key Takeaways on Food Labels and Regulatory Requirements

If you run any sort of business that involves selling food items you have to be extremely vigilant and diligent about the information that you provide to your customers.

To ensure that health and safety standards are maintained and you meet all of your regulatory requirements you always have to clearly identify what you are selling and provide vital data such as ingredients and allergen information.

The best way of providing this information to anyone who is looking at the packaging is to use food labels that have been specifically designed to allow you to fulfill all of your obligations as a seller.

Here is a look at some key points to keep in mind when thinking about how you can comply with all of the necessary requirements.

Accurate naming of the food

A good starting point would be to ensure that your labeling describes the name of the food you are supplying in a fair and accurate way.

Your label needs to name food in a way that could be considered a true representation and is definitely not misleading or false in any way.

Make the quantities clear

If your product contains a variety of different ingredients the label needs to provide a percentage figure for each one of these.

If there is meat in the product, for instance, provide an accurate percentage of how much meat is in the item.

Provide a list of all ingredients

It is also vital that your label provides a list of every ingredient used. The way to present this data is to provide the list of ingredients in descending order of weight.

How long is the product good for?

One of the main ways to ensure that food products are used safely is to provide a clear guide on how long the product will last for. Providing a best before date or a use by date helps consumers to use the food safely.

Giving these dates is also a useful way of minimizing food waste in addition to meeting labeling requirements.

Guidance on how to use the product

Your labeling should also give clear guidance on how to use, prepare, cook, or consume the food product you are selling.

Safe storage

Most food products need to be stored in certain conditions. This could be in a refrigerator or in a cool and dry place.

Whatever the storage instructions, you have a duty of care to give guidance on how best to store your product.

Provide accurate country of origin details

It would usually be breaking the law if you don’t highlight where the product originates from.

If the product was sourced from China, for example, but sold in the U.S., the country of origin and provenance details have to be provided on the label.

You cannot make ambiguous claims that imply a product is home-grown when it isn’t.

Make it easy for customers to get in touch

Your label should provide contact details. Basic information such as the name of your business, country of origin, address, and telephone number should be sufficient to meet compliance requirements.

Nutritional information

People want to know the sugar and fat content of a product they are buying to consume.

Express this content data in grams and also the percentage of a person’s daily allowance.


Highlighting ingredients that are known allergens is essential. Without these details, it is possible that someone could suffer a severe allergic reaction.

It makes sense to think carefully about the level of detail that you are going to include on your food labels. It not only helps you meet regulatory compliance requirements but it could protect your business from a lawsuit.