Labeling and its significance
Food Labelling is one of the inherent components of public nutrition. It acts as one of the major links between the food packer or manufacturer and the seller, distributor, and consumer. Labeling is one of the ways through which a manufacturer or the seller introduces his product to the distributor or the target consumer by sharing relevant information about the product clearly and precisely mentioned on the label.
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It is mandatory to obey food labeling requirements as per FSSAI guidelines. It is not only essential as per the laws of the country but also gives a lot of advantages to the manufacturers. Below are some of the food labeling requirements defined by FASSI.
- Packaged food products must have proper labeling as per FSSAIregulations.
- Simple, clear, and to the point, food labeling on packages help manufacturers to make a deep impact on customers' mind.
- A proper and correct label is the key for a manufacturer to promote the sale of his product.
- A perfect label helps customers to take a quick decision about buying a specific product.
- If a food product is being manufactured for exported purposes, it must be labeled as per the food laws and regulations of the country where the product is being exported. Food laws & regulations of export countries need to be taken care of while labeling the product.
According to Food Safety Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, every food product that is being packaged to sell in the market must contain a label containing the following information-
The food name, Ingredients List, Nutritional Information, Food Additives DeclarationNon-veg or veg Declaration, Packers or manufacturer’s complete name and address, Net quantity, Packing or Manufacturing date, Lot No./Code No./Batch No., Best Before Date or Use Before Date, For Imported Food, Country of Origin, Instructions for use
Rules for any Additional Information on the Label
Apart from above-mentioned information, if the packer or the manufacturer also want to share some additional information. Manufacturer or packer must ensure that the information shared on the label is in compliance with the general labeling requirements as prescribed in the regulations. The label must be firmly fixed on the container/package and should not easily get separated from its surface, content should be easily readable and clear in Hindi or English language, etc.
Penalties on not following food labeling and packaging rule set by FSSAI
It is very much important to check and examine any labeling imperfection in advance. A detailed visual check can help you spot any defects in the label and corrective action to be taken. If there is no proper label on the food product or absence of complete information or the product is available for sale with misleading, false or deceptive claims, it is to be noted and treated as misbranded food. Such cases will attract the following penalties-
Different Offences and Penalties
- In the case of misbranding the food manufactured, the penalty may be up to Rs. 3 Lakh
- In case of misleading the advertisement, the penalty may be up to Rs. 10 Lakh
- If a customer notices any labelling defect when inspecting the food packages, it creates suspicion about the quality of the food product in his mind
- If any sample of food product sent for laboratory testing and found to be non-compliant with the standards set by the regulatory authority, the food product may be declared as low in quality or sub-standard. It may also be considered as misbranding which may result in prosecution for the packer or manufacturer.
The above-mentioned penalties clearly specify the consequences of incorrect or defective labelling. The product might get in doubt about its quality and it may send negative signals to the consumers. The regulators may process an in-depth quality check of the product and it may lead to prosecution. Thus, it is vital to pay attention to the food product labelling requirements as per the regulations.
Points FBO’s Must Take Care while labeling and packing food product
The aforesaid information clearly indicates the implication of having a correct labelling system for packers and manufacturers. In case of improper labeling on the food package ornot found in accordance with the regulations, the Food Business Operators may have to face penalties as defined by FSS Acts.
Its mandatory for all The Food Business Operator to have correct information on the labels. Packer and manufacturers must ensure that the food product being offered for sale is a quality product and the same is reflected on its label. The strictness on labelling and packaging has increased in the past few years to help the consumers gain information about what they are consuming. As per regulation, every customer must know the product bought by them is high in quality and safe for consumption. The Act and regulations help safeguard consumer interests and ensure safe consumption of packaged food items.
This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.
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