Labelling requirements for food sold in Australia and New Zealand are set by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
The NSW Food Authority is responsible for administering and enforcing these provisions in NSW and for administering the Food Act 2003 (NSW), which includes sections about information that can mislead the consumer.
What is needed on a food label?
A food label must identify:
- a name for the food sufficient to indicate the true nature of the food
- the identification of a ‘lot’ of the food
- name and street address in Australia or NZ of the supplier of the food (eg. the manufacturer, marketer or importer)
- a list of the ingredients
- a statement of the shelf life of the product, either a ‘use-by’ or a ‘best before’ date (this can be used in lieu of the ‘lot’)
- the nutrition information panel (NIP) with the content of the basic nutrients in the food, per serving and also per 100g of that food
- the country of origin of the product and its ingredients
- warning and advisory statements about substances that may be harmful to people with allergies and food sensitivities, such as nuts.
Any specific requirements needed to achieve the indicated shelf life must also be on the label.
A few foods will need directions for use included.
Standard items on menus at larger fast food chains (standard food outlets) in NSW must display kJ (energy) information.
Details not enforced by the Food Authority
- the presence and accuracy of total weights and measures statements, which are the responsibility of the National Measurement Institute. Note that the Food Authority is responsible for percentage ingredient statements.
- recycling codes
- pet foods
- therapeutic products including dietary aids and supplements registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.