Food labels provide food safety information (e.g. use by dates) and also tell you what nutrients are in the food. Food labelling laws require all manufactured foods to include a nutrition information panel.
You will find the following information on food labels:
Nutrition information panel
Use by date
You might also find on your food labels:
Nutrition content claims or health claims
Percentage Daily Intake (%DI)
FOOD LABELLING LAWS
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) develop the food labelling laws and local State and Territory agencies enforce these laws. There are also fair trading laws that require labels to be truthful. The laws and regulations aim to make it easier for people to make decisions about the nutritional value of the food they buy and eat.
CLAIMS Nutrition content claims or health claims may also appear on the package to promote foods as being ‘healthy’. If claims are made, information needs to be declared in the ingredient list and nutrient information panel to support the claims.
INGREDIENT LISTING Ingredients are listed in descending order of quantity, meaning that the first ingredient is the main ingredient in the food and the last ingredient is the smallest by weight. Checking the order of ingredients can give you valuable information about the food. Food additives are included on the ingredient list and may be listed by name or by an approved numbering system.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
In 2016 the Australian food standards added country of origin information requirements to inform consumers about where the food comes from. Country of origin label must identify where the product was made, produced, grown or packed, or from which country it was imported.
Our Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Kristie Pieters, can provide advice and information on how to read and understand food labels Australia.