Food Labelling Requirements

Food labeling is an essential component of public nutrition. It serves as a vital link between the food packer or manufacturer and the seller, distributor, and consumer. Labeling is one of the methods by which a manufacturer or seller introduces his product to a distributor or target consumer by clearly and precisely mentioning relevant information about the product on the label.

Labeling and its Significance

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It is critical to follow the food labeling requirements outlined in the FSSAI guidelines. It is not only required by law in the country, but it also provides numerous benefits to manufacturers. The following are some of the food labeling requirements.

  • Having clear and precise food labeling requirements assists manufacturers in impressing their end customers. After reading the label, they are able to make an informed decision about using a specific product. As a result, having a proper and correct label assists a manufacturer in promoting the sale of this product.
  • According to Food Laws, every packaged food product must have proper labeling. This labeling must be done in accordance with the country’s laws, specifically the Food Safety Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 2011.
  •  The announcement was made by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, or FSSAI.

The laws and regulations are designed to protect the consumer’s interests. As a result, the Food Safety Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011, were enacted. According to these regulations, every packaged food product must have a label containing the following information:

  1. The food name
  2. Ingredients List
  3. Nutritional Information
  4. Food Additives Declaration
  5. Non-veg or veg Declaration
  6. Packers or manufacturer’s complete name and address
  7. Net quantity
  8. Packing or Manufacturing date
  9. Lot No./Code No./Batch No.
  10. Best Before Date or Use Before Date

Label Additional Information

In addition to the information mentioned above, the packer or manufacturer must share some additional information. He must also ensure that the information on the label complies with the general labeling requirements outlined in the regulations. The label must be firmly adhered to the container and not easily detached from its surface; correct content must be used on the label; the content must be easily legible and clear in Hindi or English; and soon.

What happens if food labels are incorrect?

It is critical to check for and inspect any labeling flaws ahead of time. A thorough visual inspection can assist you in identifying any flaws in the label and taking corrective action. There is no need for laboratory analysis of the sample or an analysis report to identify labeling defects. If a food product lacks a proper label in accordance with regulations, or if it lacks complete information about the food product, or if the product is available for sale with misleading, false, or deceptive claims, it will be considered and treated as misbranded food. In such cases, the following penalties may be imposed:

Different Offences and Penalties

  • The penalty for misbranded food can be up to Rs. 3 Lakh.
  • A misleading advertisement may result in a penalty of up to Rs. 10 Lakh.

A consumer can visually inspect the label and spot the defects, making the labeling defect easy to notice. This not only raises concerns about the product’s quality but also has legal ramifications.

  • If the regulator notices any labeling defect when inspecting the food packages, it creates suspicion about the quality of the food product in his mind and he may decide to take the sample of the food product for laboratory analysis and get its quality checked.
  • If a sample food product sent for laboratory testing and analysis is found to be non-compliant with the regulatory authority’s standards, the food product may be labeled as low quality or sub-standard. It could also be labeled as misbranding, which could lead to legal action against the packer or manufacturer.

The penalties listed above clearly show the consequences of incorrect or defective labeling. The product may become shrouded in doubt about its quality, sending negative signals to customers. The regulators may conduct a thorough quality check on the product, which may result in prosecution. As a result, it is critical to adhere to the regulations regarding food product labeling.

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The Operator of a Food Business Must Take Care of the Following

The information provided above clearly demonstrates the importance of proper labeling for a Food Business Operator. If an incorrect label is found on a food package or if it is not found in accordance with the regulations, Food Business Operators may face penalties and the consequences of the FSS Acts.

On the label, the Food Business Operator must provide the necessary and correct information. He must ensure that the food product for sale is of high quality and that this is reflected on the label. The emphasis on labeling and packaging has risen in recent years in order to provide consumers with more information about the products they consume. They must be confident that the product they have purchased is of high quality and safe for consumption. The Act and its accompanying regulations help to protect their interests and ensure the safe consumption of packaged food items.

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