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Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn - Isle of Anglesey County Council

Food labelling advice

How to label your packaged food products and the legal requirements that you must meet as a food business. 

How to label your packaged food products and the legal requirements that you must meet as a food business. (Last updated 19 January 2018)

Labelling is regulated to protect consumers who should have the right information to make confident and informed food choices based on diet, allergies, personal tastes or cost.

Everyone has the right to know that the food they buy matches the description on the label. Part of our role is to help prevent labelling or misleading descriptions of foods. Deliberately misleading labelling is a criminal fraud, whether it is a threat of food safety or not. The description, advertising or presentation of food is an offence and there are many laws that protect consumers from dishonest labelling and misleading descriptions. 

Online food labelling course

Specific compulsory information must be displayed on food labels of all pre-packed food. All foods will be subject to general food labelling requirements and any labelling provided must be accurate and not misleading. Certain foods are controlled by specific product regulations that include:

  • bread and flour
  • cocoa and chocolate
  • soluble coffee
  • evaporated milk and dry milk
  • honey
  • powder milk
  • jams
  • meat products - sausages, burgers and pasties
  • natural mineral waters
  • spray fats
  • sugar
  • irradiated food
  • foods containing genetic modification

For more information on how to label the above products, follow the link below; Trading Standards Wales

There are some mandatory labelling requirements for each food label.
These are the requirements:

  • the name of the food
  • ingredient list
  • ingredients or processing aids that cause allergies or intolerance set out in the 14 allergens
  • the size of certain ingredients or categories of ingredients
  • the net size of the food
  • the date of the minimum resilience or the 'use by' date
  • special storage conditions and/or use conditions
  • the business name or name and address of the food business operator
  • country of origin or place of origin
  • use the instructions in circumstances where the food would be difficult to use properly without the instructions
  • the strength of alcohol by volume for drinks containing more than 1.2% of alcohol
  • nutritional statement

Further information can be found in this Waste and Resources Action Plan guidance document.

Additional labelling requirements for certain specific food and drink products such as:

  • foods containing certain gases
  • foods containing sweeteners
  • foods containing glycyrrhizinic acid or ammonium salt
  • drinks with high caffeine content or extra caffeine foods
  • foods with additional phytosterols, phytostericesters, phytostanols or phytostanolesters
  • frozen meat, frozen meat preparations and frozen unprocessed fishery products
  • frozen meat, frozen meat preparations and frozen unprocessed fishery products

The minimum font size applies to compulsory information. Font size is determined by the letter 'x' and if the height is greater than 1.2mm.

Minimum font size for labelling (99.14 KB)

Compulsory food information must be easy to see. It must also be legible and difficult to get rid of it, where appropriate. It must be ensured that the information is not deliberately concealed, unintentionally concealed, and no other written or illustrative material can be disturbed in any way. Mandatory details must be entered with words and numbers. They can also be shown using pictograms and symbols.

Food catering businesses do not have to label food in the same way as makers and other food businesses. Businesses are required to provide information about allergens and intolerance to customers.

Information about Allergens for non-packaged food, or 'loose foods' can be displayed through a variety of methods that are suitable for how you display information in your business. You must provide information on the use of allergenic ingredients in food. You do not have to provide a full ingredients list.

The European Consumer Food Information Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information for consumers brings together European Union rules on labelling of general food and nutrition labelling in one legislation.


We have guidelines for food business operators and enforcement officers in Wales, according to the Food Information Regulations 2014. The guidance provides non-statutory advice and should be read alongside Regulation 1169/2011 and the 2014 Food Information Regulations for the relevant nation.

Food Information Regulation Guidance (273.32 KB)

If you wrap or pack food as part of your business then you must:

  • use material that will not contaminate the packaging and packaging
  • store wrapping material so that they are not at risk of contamination
  • wrap and pack the food in a manner that prevents contamination of products
  • make sure that any containers are clean and undamaged, especially if you use glass cans or jars
  • be able to keep the packaging or packaging clean

E-learning course on vacuum packaging (English only)

Sometimes misleading descriptions can affect your health or safety. Those who can't eat some foods because they have an intolerance or allergy can suffer a serious reaction or reaction that can kill. It is much harder to avoid these foods if the label is not precise.

A contaminated product could also cause illness if it was deliberately presented as a valid product. We also have a research program dedicated to developing new methods and techniques to support the surveillance program.

The authenticity of food is when food corresponds to its description. Mislabelled food cheats the user and creates unfair competition with manufacturers or traders.

The description of a food refers to the information given about the:

  • name
  • ingredient
  • origin
  • processing

If you believe that food products are not valid, see information on food crime.