Food Labels: How Can They Help?
Labels are statutory requirement of manufcaturer to disclose information about the food
products . These are also applicable for bakery products .
Sell by date
Vegetarian or Non Vegitarian
Any social message
Food labels and packaging are excellent sources of information about food and guides for food
safety. If you don't take time to read them, you are not taking full advantage of this food
Look for the following on food labels and packaging:
Exactly what is in the package. This may include
The quantity by weight or volume or count.
The ingredients, listed in decreasing order. In other words, the ingredient present in the
amount is listed first.
The form of the food, such as sliced, whole, or chunk.
How nutritious the food is. This may include the number of calories per serving, amount of fat,
and percentage of vitamins.
If the food is graded or inspected. Eggs and fresh meat have a grade shield or inspection
mark on the package to signify their safety and quality.
How the food should be stored or prepared.
The food's shelf-life dates. These may includeThe date product was manufactured,
processed, or packaged..
The "sell by" date. This is the last day the product can be sold. It allows time for the product to
be stored and used at home.The "best if used by" date. This is the freshness date; product
may be safe after this date but will probably not be at peak quality.
The "do not use after" date. This is the expiration date; the last date the product should be
The lot number of the package. Manufacturers place batch identification numbers on food
If there is a problem with a batch of food, news reports will advise people to return products
with a certain number.
Anti-tampering devices. These will reveal whether the container's original closing has been
broken. It could be a plastic seal around the outside of a container or a safety button on the lid
of a jar. If the seal is broken or the button is up, don't buy and don't use the product.
The name and address of the manufacturer or packer of the food.
FOOD PACKAGING SYMBOLS