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Navigating the Legal Requirements of Food Labelling
For food manufacturers, ensuring that the correct information is on food packaging is a legal requirement. This can be difficult to navigate as new additions seem to occur on a regular basis, and if packaging is deemed to not present the required information or displays incorrect information, it can have serious legal ramifications, often leading to penalties.
What the Law Says
According to the UK Gov website, food and beverage labelling must be ‘clear and easy to read, permanent, easy to understand, easily visible and not misleading.’ It must list the ingredients and give certain warnings where necessary, such as the presence of nuts.
Simply put, your consumer must be able to understand what it is that they are consuming when they buy your products. Providing them information about nutritional values and possible allergens is essential.
Exporting outside of the EU requires compliance with a different set of rules. USA Israel, Asia all have different rules which require specific declarations on the packaging. Failure to observe these will cause unnecessary distress in the sales process.
It is important to be aware of compliance laws changing as they can evolve over time. For example, the labelling for allergens is not yet unified in Europe and is being re-assessed. This is also particularly important as the UK faces uncertainty after the Brexit vote. Currently, UK food manufacturers are required to meet EU standards, however, with the UK set to leave the European Union, this may mean change for some regulations.
Working with companies such as KLBD Kosher and SpecPage is an excellent way of staying up to date with regulations that may have an impact on the way in which you approach labelling your products. For example, when you apply for kosher certification with KLBD Kosher, we will conduct an audit of your factory and will require information about your ingredients, ensuring that your process is in line with the kosher requirements.
SpecPage, on the other hand, offer software which supports the recipe-based manufacturing industry with product development and legal information, ensuring that they always stay compliant.
Pitfalls of Food Labelling
There are many ways in which businesses can fall foul of food packaging laws, and it is important to be vigilant to avoid this. For example, the laws surrounding halal labelling have been unclear in the past. While there are many products clearly marketed at those looking for halal products, many of these products enter the mainstream market, leading to calls for more transparency.
Labels such as these may no longer be the choice of the manufacturer. They may become a legal requirement in the future, leading to the possibility of action being taken against manufacturers which fail to display the appropriate labelling.
As regulations continue to develop, it is essential for manufacturers to keep well informed of these changes and update their packaging accordingly. With KLBD Kosher, you can be assured that your packaging clearly displays its kosher status. For more information about our services, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by calling +44 (0) 20 8343 6255 to speak to a member of our team.