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Labelling

Food labelling informs the consumer about the properties of food and allows them to make educated food choices. The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) prescribes labelling requirements for the sale of food in. The City is responsible for ensuring that these legislative requirements are adhered to and correct information is provided on food product labels.

The information presented on the label must:
• be visible on the outside of the package,
• be unambiguous, and
• not mislead the consumer.

Information a food label must contain

Food Businesses are required to comply with all of the provisions of the Food Act 2008 and Code. Below is a general summary of labelling requirements and cannot cover all situations. The food label must identify:
• a name for the food which is prescribed by the Code, or a name/description that describes the true nature of the food
• the production ‘lot’ of the food prepared under the same conditions and during a particular span of time (date coding can in some circumstances satisfy the requirement for a lot number)
• the name and street address in Australia or New Zealand of the supplier of the food (eg manufacturer, marketer or importer)
• a list of the ingredients
• a statement of the shelf life of the product, as either a ‘use-by’ or a ‘best before’ date
• directions for use and storage where these are needed for reasons of health and safety or to ensure shelf life is achieved
• the nutrition information panel (NIP)
• the country of origin of the product and its ingredients
• warning and advisory statements and declaration of the presence of substances which may adversely affect the health of people with allergies and food sensitivities

Labelling exemptions

Some food offered for retail sale is exempt from general labelling requirements. Exemptions apply if the food is:
• unpackaged
• in an ‘inner’ package, not designed for sale without the outer package
• made and packaged on the premises from which it is sold
• excludes dividing and repackaging portions
• packaged in the presence of the purchaser
• packaged food displayed in an assisted service cabinet which requires food to be served on request from the purchaser
• whole or cut vegetables and fruit, in a package which displays the nature and the quality of the food (does not apply to sprouting seeds)
• delivered packaged and ready for consumption at the order of the consumer
• sold at a fundraising event

The Code requires that label exempt food must comply with warning statements and identify genetically modified or irradiated food.

More information
• Part 1.2 Labelling and other Information Requirements of the Food Standards Code http://www.foodstandards.gov.au
• visit the Department of Health website at www.healthywa.wa.gov.au