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Food Labelling serves as a primary link of communication between the manufacturer or packer of food on the one hand and distributor, seller, and user or consumer on the other hand. By way of labelling the manufacturer introduces his product to his distributor or seller and to the target consumer or user of his product by providing all the information regarding his product on the label.
As per Food Laws, every packaged food article has to be labelled and it has to be labelled in accordance with the law applicable in the country of the user. Every packaged food article for the domestic use has to be labelled in accordance to the related Indian Food Law i.e. Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, notified by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The packaged food for export has to be labelled in accordance with the food laws and regulations applicable to the importing country.
In order to safeguard the interest of the consumer, The Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, provides that every packaged food article has to be labelled and it shall provide the following information –
- The name of Food
- List of Ingredients,
- Nutritional Information,
- Declaration regarding Veg or non-veg,
- Declaration regarding Food Additives,
- Name and complete address of the manufacturer or packer
- Net Quantity,
- Code No,/Lot No./Batch No.,
- Date of manufacture or packing,
- Best Before and Use By Date,
- Country of Origin for imported food and
- Instructions for use
In addition to the above information the manufacturer or the packer has to also ensure that the label complies with the general requirements of labeling prescribed under the regulations I.e. the label should not become separated from the container, contents on the label shall be correct, clear and readily legible and shall be in English or Hindi language, etc.
If the food product is not labelled in accordance to the regulations or it does not provide the required complete information or the food product is promoted for sale with false, misleading or deceptive claims then it is considered as misbranded food and attracts the penalties as given below-
OFFENCES & PENALTIES
- Misbranded Food Up to 3lakh rupee
- Misleading advertisement Up to 10lakh rupees
The consumer can notice the labelling defect easily through visual inspection and that may create suspicion about the quality of the product also in the mind of the consumer.
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