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Food Labeling Regulations

Food Labeling Regulations

Food labeling is an important aspect of public nutrition. It connects the food packer or manufacturer with 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 mentioning relevant information about the product on the label in a clear and precise manner.

The Importance of Labeling

Suggested read- fssai registration

Following the food labeling requirements outlined in the FSSAI guidelines is critical. It is not only required by law in the country, but it also has numerous advantages for manufacturers. Some of the food labeling requirements are as follows.

  • Clear and precise food labeling requirements help manufacturers impress their end customers. They can make an informed decision about using a specific product after reading the label. As a result, having a proper and correct label aids a manufacturer in marketing and selling this product.
  • Every packaged food product must have proper labeling, according to Food Laws. This labeling must be done in accordance with the laws of the country, specifically the Food Safety Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations 2011.
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, or FSSAI, made the announcement.

The laws and regulations are designed to protect the consumer's interests. The Food Safety Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011, were enacted as a result. Every packaged food product must have a label that includes the following information, according to these regulations:

  • The name of the food
  • Food Additives Declaration Ingredients List Nutritional Information
  • Declaration (Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian)
  • Complete name and address of the packer or manufacturer Net quantity
  • Date of packing or manufacture
  • Lot No./Code No./Batch No. Best Before/Use By Date

What happens if food labels are mislabeled?

It is critical to inspect and check for labeling flaws ahead of time. A thorough visual inspection can help you identify label flaws and take corrective action. To identify labeling flaws, there is no need for laboratory analysis of the sample or an analysis report. If a food product does not have a proper label in accordance with regulations, or if it does not have 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. The following penalties may be imposed in such cases:

Different Penalties and Offenses

  • Misbranded food can result in a fine of up to Rs. 3 lakh.
  • A false advertisement can result in a penalty of up to Rs. 10 lakh.

A consumer can visually inspect the label and detect flaws, making the labeling flaw obvious. This not only raises questions about the product's quality but also has legal implications.

  • If the regulator notices any labeling defects while inspecting food packages, it raises concerns about the quality of the food product, and he may decide to send a sample of the food product to a laboratory to have its quality checked.
  • If a sample food product sent for laboratory testing and analysis is found to be non-compliant with the standards of the regulatory authority, the food product may be labeled as low quality or sub-standard. It could also be labeled as misbranding, which could result in legal action being taken against the packer or manufacturer.

Also, read- fssai license registration

The following are the responsibilities of a food business owner:

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

The Food Business Operator must provide the necessary and correct information on the label. He must ensure that the food for sale is of high quality and that the label reflects this. In recent years, there has been a greater emphasis placed on labeling and packaging in order to provide consumers with more information about the products they consume. They must be certain that the product they have purchased is of high quality and safe to consume. The Act and its accompanying regulations aid in protecting their interests and ensuring the safe consumption of packaged foods.

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