Food Labelling Requirements

Food labelling laws and regulations are complex and ever-changing. All packaged foods required to bear a label when sold in Australia and New Zealand must conform to Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code (ANZFSC) and additional mandatory requirements in the Competition and Consumer Act 2011. Both Australia-manufactured and imported food products must be compliant with all mandatory food label requirements. Compliant, labelled food is not only mandatory. Compliant food labels are essential to avoid your foods becoming public health and safety risks. Ensuring your food labels are compliant with ANZFSC and other laws not only protects you from regulatory non-conformance actions. Food label compliance checks reduce the chance of costly mistakes that trigger food recalls, damage food brand reputation, or worse, carry the risk of death for allergenic consumers.     

Dr Janine Curll - an ex-food label regulator for NSW with a PhD on food labelling compliance and enforcement - is an expert on achieving food labelling compliance. She can help you understand what a food label for a particular food must declare for it to be compliant. Janine has helped large and small food businesses in both Australia and internationally achieve compliance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and understand the Australia and New Zealand's food label regulatory scheme:

  • Structure of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and general provisions

  • Definitions used throughout the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code

  • Requirements to have food labels or otherwise provide information

  • Mandatory food information requirements: 

    • food identification

    • warning statements, advisory statements and declarations (allergens etc)

    • statement of food ingredients

    • date marking of food for sale

    • directions for use and storage of packaged food

    • country of origin labelling

  • Nutrition, health and related claims on foods

  • Nutrition information requirements on food labels

  • Information requirements – characterising ingredients and components of food

  • Foods requiring pre-market clearance:

    • ​Novel foods

    • Food produced using gene technology

    • Irradiation of food

  • Substances added to or present in food:

    • Processing Aids

    • Vitamins and minerals

    • Food additives

  • Food contaminants and residues:

    • Contaminants and natural toxicants

    • Agvet chemicals [applies in Australia only]

    • Prohibited and restricted plants and fungi

  • Special food compositional and labelling requirements for:​​

    • Cereal and cereal products

    • Fruit and vegetables

    • Jam

    • Egg and egg products

    • Meat and meat products

    • Fish and fish products

    • Edible oils and spreads

    • Milk, cream, fermented milk products, cheese, butter, ice cream

    • Dried milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk

    • Fruit juice and vegetable juice

    • Non-alcoholic beverages and brewed soft drinks

    • Kava

    • Formulated caffeinated beverages

    • Labelling of alcoholic beverages and food containing alcohol

    • Beer, Fruit wine, vegetable wine and mead

    • Wine and wine products 

    • Spirits

    • Sugar and sugar products

    • Honey

    • Vinegar and related products

    • Salt and salt products

    • Chewing gum

    • Miscellaneous standards for other foods

  • Special purpose foods

    • Infant formula products

    • Food for infants

    • Formulated meal replacements and formulated supplementary foods

    • Formulated supplementary sports foods

    • Food for special medical purposes

    • The transitional standard for special purpose foods (including amino acid modified foods) [applies in NZ only]

Dr Janine Curll is also an expert on the underlying complex food regulatory Schedules operating within the food regulatory framework:

  • RDIs and ESADDIs referenced to for food label nutritional information

  • Units of measurement used on food labels

  • Identity and purity of food ingredients

  • Nutrition, health and related claims used to promote foods for sale

  • Nutrient profiling scoring method

  • Required elements of a systematic review for a self-substantiated food-health relationship

  • Food additive class names (for the statement of ingredients) in foods for sale

  • Food additive names and code numbers (for the statement of ingredients) on packaged foods

  • Mandatory advisory statements on food labels and in advertising food

  • Generic names of food ingredients and conditions for their use in foods for sale

  • Calculation of values for the nutrition information panel on food labels

  • Nutrition information panels on food labels

  • Nutrition information required for food in small packages

  • Technological purposes performed by substances used as food additives

  • Substances that may be used as food additives

  • Types of substances that may be used as food additives

  • Vitamins and minerals added to foods

  • Processing Aids for food manufacturing

  • Maximum levels of contaminants and natural toxicants in foods for sale

  • Maximum residue limits [applies in Australia only] in foods for sale

  • Extraneous residue limits [applies in Australia only] in foods for sale

  • Foods and classes of foods

  • Prohibited plants and fungi sold as foods or food ingredients

  • Restricted plants and fungi sold as food or food ingredients

  • Permitted novel foods

  • Microbiological limits for foods

  • Food produced using gene technology

  • Formulated caffeinated beverages

  • Special purpose foods

© 2019 by Food Labels Online Pty Limited. 

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