2022 Food Packaging and Labelling Requirements
When selling packaged food, there are strict requirements that need to be followed in terms of the packaging used, as well as how it is weighed and labelled. Here, you can learn about the labelling and packaging requirements you will need to adhere to in 2022, and the types of equipment you can use during the process.
Food Packaging Requirements for 2022
When packaging food items, you will need to use something that is labelled ‘for food contact’ or that is marked with a wine glass and fork symbol. If the packaging you select is plastic, ceramic or cellophane, you will need to obtain a ‘declaration of compliance’ from the supplier.
You will also need to comply with the weights and measures act for packaged goods, following either the minimum system or the average system. When weighing packaged items, it’s important to select the right equipment – it needs to be deemed suitable for your purpose and domestic scales can’t be used to weigh goods that will be sold. Professional equipment you can use to weigh food includes:
- Retail and commercial scales – industrial scales for weighing goods accurately
- Checkweighers – systems that weigh items on a production line, Checkweighers ensure items are the correct weight.
Using Checkweighers for Food Labelling and Packaging
There are two types of Checkweighers, Manual and Automatic. Checkweighers can be normally operated in two Modes. Mode 1 is working to a set minimum weight, if a pack should be 100g it will only allow packs of 100g to be accepted, nothing below the declared weight will be allowed. Mode 2 is Average weight, here packs below the declared weight are allowed with a set criteria (Average Weight legislation). The Three Packers’ Rule must be followed to comply with Weights and Measures legislation:
These records must show that you have complied with the three packers’ rules. It is recommended that, as a minimum, you should record the product, the batch number, the date, the number of packs in the batch, the number checked and the results of the check.
Should I use an Automatic or Manual Checkweigher?
Choosing to use an Automatic or Manual Checkweigher depends on your individual needs, in general, if you can use an Automatic Checkweigher you should.
The benefits of using an Automatic Checkweigher rather than a Manual Checkweigher is, data is captured without operator intervention when using an Automatic Checkweigher, you can also control and monitor any product giveaway in real-time and act accordingly, you can capture every single product data passed over the scale as well as complete Production Statistics for the Batch, requires very little operator intervention this maximising your profits. The downside is an Automatic Checkweigher takes up space in the Production line.
A Manual Checkweigher is normally sample based and often used for difficult to handle products, which cannot be weighed automatically.
A Manual Checkweigher takes up very little space and is often positioned next to or close to the running Production line. On the downside, Manual Checkweighers require a lot of Operator intervention and record keeping. Product giveaway is much higher as you are only checking a fraction of the running batch and if the samples from the batch fail the complete batch will need to be re-worked and checked, and this can be a very costly exercise.
Additionally, as you are only checking a fraction of the products in the batch it is only possible to record the overall batch statistics and the samples, you cannot capture every package, this can only be done by an Automatic Checkweigher where every product passes over the scale.
We are happy to give you guidance on whether to go for an Automatic or Manual Checkweigher, please contact us for a free consultation.
Food Labelling Requirements for 2022
Food and drink labels need to be:
- Easy to understand
You will also need to show some basic information:
- Product name
- ‘Best before’ or ‘use by’ date
- Warnings, if necessary
- Net quantity
- Country or place of origin if required
- Lot number or use-by date
- Special storage conditions if necessary
- Cooking or usage instructions where needed
- Name and address of the business responsible for this information, or the importer (this is needed if you’re based in Great Britain)
If your packaged food products are over 5g or 5ml, the packaging must indicate the net quantity. This also applies to packaged herbs and spices. Solid foods that are packaged in liquid must also indicate drained net weight. One exception is if food is sold by number and the items are clearly visible inside the packaging.
To ensure efficient, accurate labelling, professional equipment can be used during the process. This includes:
- Label applicators. These labelling machines apply labels securely and accurately to products or packaging as required.
- Print apply labellers. Advanced labelling systems that will both print and apply labels to food and drink products.
- C/D wrap labelling machines. Applies C and D wrap labels which are regularly used in the food industry.
- Weigh price labellers. Machines to assist with labelling packaged products if they are priced by weight, combining weighing and label processes.
- Outer case labellers/applicators. Used to print labels and barcodes for outer packaging, usually in bulk.