Thank you for sending the email yesterday about your concerns on the labelling rules for
your up coming product “Cheesy Nuggets”. I have read your email, analysed your packaging
fully and have also studied the applicable food laws and regulations, when it comes to
distributing your product. I have written below what you must do and what I would
recommend to ensure that you are working within the law and to avoid any penalties that
Just to inform you, the product you would like to distribute will be governed under the Food
information for Consumer Regulations, also know as FIC. Unfortunately, Randy English
labelling law will apply even if you’re giving your product away as under article 1, section 3
of the FIC it states that this regulation applies to food business business operators at all
stages of the food chain, where their activities concern the delivery of food information to
consumers. This means that the regulation applies to foods intended for final consumption
such as foods delivered by mass caterers and food intended for supply to mass caterers and
in your case supplying your product to UK distributors who will then be giving it away to
large groups of consumers in music festivals.
Article 6 of the regulation states basic requirement when it comes to the distribution of
food and in this article it states that you have to display food information on your product in
accordance with this regulation especially when you have intention to supply it to a large
amount of people to consume.
The name of your food must be stated on the packaging and the name must be its legal
name, which means the name of the food deemed acceptable in UK. However, from what
I’ve seen there is no legally prescribed name for your product and also no customary name,
which means the name which is accepted as the name of the food by consumers in the UK,
without needing further explanation. I would recommend putting on the packaging of your
product “biscuit snacks with real cheese flavouring”.
Article 9, section 1B states that the list of ingredients is mandatory and after looking at your
packaging for “Cheesy Nuggets” I can inform you that your list of ingredients has to have a
more suitable heading, I would recommend just “ingredients” instead of “what we’re made
of”. According to Article 18, section 1 all ingredients have to be included and must be in
descending order of weight, for example Wheat Flour 60%, Vegetable oil 16%, Cheese 15%.
Finally, they must be recorded at the time of their use when you were manufacturing the
product. I’ve attached a table of how it is meant to look like below this email!
Article 9 and Annex X of the FIC also states that a “use by” date is not appropriate for this
product as the product will last for more than 3 months, but not more than 18 months, so
“best before” will be most suitable. Randy, I would recommend to just indicate a month and
a year but not a day as it would be more complicated to do so and unnecessary as its not
required from the regulation for this specific product. However, looking at the packing you
sent me I would strongly suggest to keep the storage instructions to allow consumers to
know how to ensure the product keeps to its actually best before date.
Coming back to the list of mandatory essentials needed on your packaging, under Article 13,
section 5 the name of the food and the net quantity which means the weight, has to be in
the same part of the packaging, as it makes it easier for your consumers to read it from a
single viewing point. This has got to be changed in your packaging to avoid your product
from being removed from distribution.
Under the FIC regulation the name or business name and address of the food business
operator must be stated on the product. Article 8, section 1 of the regulation states that as
you’re the food business operator responsible for the food information, you have the
responsibility of putting your business name and address on the product. However, as
“Traditional Yankee Foods Inc.” is operated outside the UK and EU, the business established
in the UK that’s importing your product must also state their name and address on the
In order for you to distribute your food product in the UK, the ingredients listed must be
selected by their exact name. Annex VII of the regulation states that the E number for
raising agent does not have to be used as long as you state the precise name of the additive,
which would be “sodium bicarbonate”.
Unfortunately, Randy it does matter that the exact legal rules are followed as they are
directly applicable requirements and there can be really serious consequences if not
complied. If you do not comply with the FIC regulation, then an enforcement office can
issue you with an improvement notice which could; state the officer’s appropriate grounds
in believing that you have failed to comply with the regulation and the specific provisions
you have breached. The officer can also specific what measures need to be taken by you in
order to secure agreement with the FIC regulation and the date by which you must put the
measures in place. If you fail to comply with an improvement notice you will be committing
an offence however you can appeal.