Packaged Food Labelling
The Food Standards Code requires certain information to be displayed on the label of packaged food for customer awareness and safety. Some of the standard details that you must include on a label:
- Name or description of food.
- List of ingredients descending from biggest to smallest in weight and percentage of key ingredients.
- Name and address of manufacturer.
- Country of Origin Labelling.
- Food additives and allergens regardless of the quantity, including eggs, nuts, milk, fish, sesame seeds, soy and wheat, listed in bold.
- Nutritional information panel.
- Date marking including ‘best before’ and ‘use by’.
- Storage requirements;
- such as, refrigerate after opening, use within 7 days.
- Legal warning statements must be at least 3mm high, except on very small packages.
Nutrition Information Panel
The nutrition panel must include information about the levels of energy in kilojoules, protein, total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars and sodium in that product. If you are making claims on the label such as ‘high in calcium’ then you must also include the level of calcium in that product.
To calculate the nutrition panel for that product you may choose to use the nutrition panel calculator program on Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Additionally, you may choose to have the product tested by an appropriate analytical laboratory.
Country of Origin Labelling
As of 1 July 2016 it is now a requirement for food made and sold in Australia to display Country of Origin Information.
For food manufactured in Australia, the percentage of ingredients from Australia is also to be displayed. The labelling is called the standard mark.
The standard mark has three components;
- Kangaroo logo - tells consumers the product was grown, produced or made in Australia.
- Bar chart - tells consumers the proportion of Australia ingredients, by ingoing weight.
- Text - clarifies the origin, the bar chart and the minimum Australia content.
Information on these labels can be obtained from Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
To create the Country of Origin labels for products, you may choose to use the online tool on Business Australia.
Labelling Exception for Community Groups
Community groups, including schools, are not required to include a nutrition panel or percentage labelling on packaged food for sale. However, information included on the packaging should include the name and address of the community group, a list of the ingredients in that product and a ‘use by’ date or ‘best before’ date.
People involved with catering must either have on display, or be able to provide on request, a written list of ingredients in the food being provided.