Labelling is an important process in the food processing chain. The label is the first point of contact between a consumer and the producer. It is used to identify one product from another and also to make a decision over which product to purchase.
The label is therefore the most important marketing tool for a product. It should be attractive and eye catching while at the same time being informative. A dirty, confused, untidy label will not help to sell a product.
Statutory Labelling Requirements
Direct to Market
for retail markets
Pickles & Preserves
Pickles & Preserves
|Company name and address||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Manufacture and Expiry dates||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Weight of product||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Kebs Standardisation Mark||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
There are two types of date tagging:
- Use by Date - 'Use by date' must be followed by a day or/and month which the product must be consumed by. To be employed on perishable foods that usually would be kept cold, for example, fish, meat, dairy products and 'ready to eat' salads.
- Best Before Date - 'Best before date' is used as an indicator of when the product will begin to degrade from optimal quality: this includes when the food becomes stale, begins to taste 'off' or decays, rots or goes mouldy. There are also regulations on which type of best before date must be applied:
- Best before + Day for foods with a shelf life of up to 3 months
- Best before end + Month for foods with more than a 3 month shelf life.
- Best before end + Year for food with more than an 18 month shelf life
- Product name
- Date mark
- Alcohol strength (if applicable).
- Microbial limits
- Heavy metal limits
- The limits of pesticide residuals
- The limits of preservatives artificial flavouring and colouring etc.
A bar code symbol typically consists of five parts: a quiet zone, a start character, data characters (including an optional check character), a stop character, and another quiet zone.
Very small bar codes have been used to tag honey bees used in research.
There is no one standard bar code; instead, there are several different bar code standards called symbologies that serve different uses, industries, or geographic needs.
Since 1973, the Uniform Product Code (UPC), regulated by the Uniform Code Council, an industry organization, has provided a standard bar code used by most retail stores. The European Article Numbering system (EAN), developed by Joe Woodland, the inventor of the first bar code system, allows for an extra pair of digits and is becoming widely used.
Information Source Links
- Appropriate Food Packaging Fellows P and Axtell B (2002). ITDG Publishing.
- Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Labelling www.codexalimentarius.org
- Codex General Standard for the labelling of pre-packaged foods. www.fao.org
- Guidelines for Small Scale Fruit and Vegetable Processors Fellows, P (1997). FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin 127, FAO, Italy, Rome. www.fao.org
- Practical action: Food Labelling Technical Brief http://practicalaction.org
- SearchManufacturingERP.com http://searchmanufacturingerp.techtarget.com