Food and Drink LabellingFood Label


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There are rules for what can go into food sold in New Zealand and what food labels must show.

Food labels must comply with the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code. There are potential repercussions, such as product recalls or fines for non-compliance.

Retail Food Label Requirements

  • affixed to the food
  • legible
  • English language use
  • comply with the food standards code, the Fair Trading Act 1986, and the Weights and Measures Act
  • batch identification for traceability in recalls
  • accurate name or description (with exact names required for specific products)
  • the name and physical address of the New Zealand or Australian business responsible for the product.
  • a date mark for foods with a shelf life of less than two years, indicating either a “Use by” date for safety concerns, a “Best before” date for quality, or a “Bkd on/Bkd for” date for bread with a shelf life of under seven days.
  • Specific storage instructions must also be provided to maintain food safety throughout its shelf life.

Food warning and advisory statements are necessary for products containing ingredients that pose risks to certain individuals, such as those with allergies or specific health conditions. These include allergy declarations, warning statements for particular food types, and advisory statements for foods that may present health risks to some consumers.

Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)

Food Label

Food labels must typically include a Nutrition Information Panel (NIP), an ingredients list, information on irradiated and genetically modified foods, percentage labelling, and the amount of food contained. While nutrition content claims, health claims and the Health Star Rating are optional, they must follow specific rules and be provable.

The NIP provides detailed information on the nutritional content of the food, including energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate, sugars, and sodium levels, both per serving and per 100g or 100ml. Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight, and any food additives used must be identified according to specific rules.

Evidence supporting the claim is required for products making nutrition content or health claims, and relevant nutrition information must be added to the NIP. Requirements for labelling irradiated and genetically modified foods are in place to inform consumers about these aspects of food production.

Percentage labelling is required for characterizing ingredients or components highlighted on the label. The packaging must clearly state the amount of food contained, using appropriate units of measure. Alcoholic beverages must include the number of standard drinks and the alcohol by volume percentage, with a similar requirement for foods containing more than 1.15% alcohol by volume.

Nutrition Panel Calculator

The NPC is a tool to help food manufacturers calculate the average nutrient content of their food products and prepare a nutrition information panel (NIP).
Visit the Nutrition Panel Calculator

Health Star Rating

Implementing a Health Star Rating on packaging is optional. It must accurately reflect the food’s nutritional profile and comply with the guidelines for using the Health Star Rating symbol.

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