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 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.