Labelling food products

Legal requirements for food labels


For most prepacked foods, you must provide on their label the following details:

  • the name of the food
  • an ingredients list
  • information on certain foods causing allergies or intolerances that were used in the manufacture or preparation of a food
  • the quantity of certain ingredients
  • the net quantity of the food
  • a date of minimum durability or 'use by' date
  • any special storage conditions and/or conditions of use
  • the name or business name and address of the food business operator under whose name the food is being marketed (or the importer in some cases)
  • the country of origin or place of provenance of the food (if required)
  • instructions for use
  • the alcoholic strength by volume
  • a nutrition declaration - see more on nutrition labelling

From 1 October 2021, the way food businesses must provide allergen labelling information for prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food will change. For more information, see new allergen labelling rules and read the updated food allergen labelling and information: technical guidance.

Read also about food allergen labelling.

What is prepacked food?

'Prepacked' means any food put into packaging before being offered for sale. For example a bar of chocolate, a sealed packed of crisps, a jar of sauce or a can of soup. All the following must apply:

  • the packaging fully or partly encloses the food
  • the food cannot be altered without opening or changing the packaging
  • the product is ready for sale to the final customer or mass caterer

Find out more about the prepacked for direct sale food.