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Food Labelling in Ireland

14 June 2019

Food labelling contains information provided by food businesses about their products . It covers all food that is sold to the consumer directly as well as food sold to cafés, restaurants and other catering establishments.

If you are a food provider it is vital that you are up to date with labelling regulations. Currently in Ireland more and more food is bought pre-packaged from shops and supermarkets so accurate and useful labelling on food products is now more essential then ever. Food labels have two purposes: to meet legal obligations by providing information such as the name of food, ingredients, use-by dates and storage conditions, and nutritional information on calorie content and key components such as sugar, fat and protein.

Ireland’s food labelling laws arise almost exclusively from our EU membership. The rules are complex, but based entirely on the principle that consumers have the right to know.

Why is food labelling important?

Use by and best before by dates

Guidance so consumers are informed on the safety of the food. For example the ‘Use by date’ and the ‘best before date’. Perishable foods, judged from a microbiological point of view (such as cooked meat products, prepared foods and salads), display a ‘use by’ date on the package and should not be eaten after this date, as this could present a health risk. In addition, many foods display a ‘best before’ date, which gives an indication of the “minimum durability”, or the period during which the food retains its specific properties when properly stored.

Storage and preparation

Certain products require this information for the consumer. Storage instructions are required on certain food products in combination with the expiry date to ensure proper handling by consumers. Food poisoning bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria can grow to levels that may cause illness if food is not stored correctly. These instructions may also indicate how to store the food once the package is opened (e.g., ‘Refrigerate after opening’).

Source – eufic

Allergy warnings

Checkout out our blog on Food Allergens and Your Food Business and Do you know what “The Big 8” food allergies are? where we discuss what the big 8 are and also the 14 allergens that must be declared under Irish legislation.

Do you work with Food? Our Management of Food Allergens course is a an excellent addition to either Food Safety HACCP Level 1 or 2.

Other Mandatory Information

(a) The energy value  and
(b) The amounts of fat, saturates, carbohydrate, sugars, protein and salt

The content of the mandatory nutrition declaration may be supplemented with an indication of the amounts of one or more of the following:

(a) Monounsaturates
(b) Polyunsaturates
(c) Polyols
(d) Starch
(e) Fibre
(f) Any of the vitamins or minerals listed in point 1 of Part A of Annex XIII to FIC, and present in significant amounts as defined in point 2 of Part A of Annex XIII to FI. Source – FSAI


If you have any furhter questions or are interested in learning more about food safety, please contact us on+353 1 693 1421 and we will be happy to help you!