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Nutrition and Health Claims on Food Labels

Legislation covers nutrition content claims, health claims, and supplement labelling on food products. Check out the basics of nutrition labelling and how to label products as organic food using an organic certification.

Nutrition Labelling On Food Products UK

A declaration of nutrition information is mandatory on pre-packed food. You must follow the technical guidance on nutrition labelling for all pre-packed products unless (both):

  • You are running a small business that employs less than ten (10) people and your turnover is less than £1.4 million.
  • You are supplying the products direct to consumers or to local retailers. The definition of ‘local’ would be within the same county, a neighbouring county, or up to thirty (30) miles from the county boundary.

Local authorities in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland enforce the regulations on nutritional labelling. But, some exemptions on the mandatory nutrition declaration apply on certain types of food.

Nutrition and Health Claims

You must not make nutrition claims (e.g. low fat) without following certain rules. The same legislation applies to a health claim (e.g. calcium helps to maintain normal bones).

Note: must not claim, imply, or state that food can prevent, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition.

Food Supplements (fortified foods)

The DHSC produces documents that contain information about the use and the labelling of food supplements in England. Follow legislation relating to the sale of food supplements if you manufacture, sell, or import:

  • A food supplement
  • A food fortified with vitamins and minerals

Other specific rules apply for ‘parnuts foods’. The term ‘parnuts’ refers to foodstuffs produced for particular nutritional uses, such as:

  • Baby food or formula milk intended for infants and for young children
  • Meal and total diet replacement (often used as part of a weight control regime)
  • Medical foods (e.g. specially formulated and intended for the dietary management of a disease)

Note: DHSC produce further guidance and notification forms for introducing medical foods and infant formula in UK. You must inform the Department for Health and Social Care before selling infant formula or medical food.

Organic Food Labelling UK

As a food retailer, you would be able to label your products as ‘organic’ providing (both must apply):

  • At least 95 percent of the farm-grown ingredients are organic.
  • You are selling the organic food direct to customers in your shop.

Organic Food Certification UK

Defra produces a list of approved organic certification bodies in the United Kingdom. You must be certified by one of the control bodies to sell or label produced or prepared organic food as ‘organic’.

The location of your store, and your specific needs, would determine which body to register with. After registering with one of the approved organic control bodies, you must:

  • Comply with a strict set of guidelines laid down by national and international law.
  • Keep accurate and comprehensive records of the production processes.
  • Whenever necessary, allow annual and random inspections.

Note: You would need to follow EU agriculture and rural development legislation for labelling organic products.


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Nutrition Content Claims and Health Claims on Food Labels in United Kingdom