Key points

  • New European regulation on food information to consumers came into force in 2011 covering all aspects of food labelling.
  • Back of back nutrition labelling will be compulsory for pre-packed foods from 2016.
  • Front of pack labelling remains voluntary but the regulation specifies which information is presented if it is used.
  • Specific information (for example name of food, weight or volume, ingredients, date and storage conditions, preparation instructions, name and address of manufacturer, packer or seller, lot number) must appear on food labels by law, although there are some exceptions.
  • Additional information may also be provided, such as  cooking instructions/serving suggestions.
  • In the UK, foods sold loose are currently exempt from many of the food labelling laws.