Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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(Note: This page is copyright - © D.J.Jukes 2018 - but please see Copyright notice). Last updated: 14 March, 2018

Food Labelling

Providing access to EU and UK legislation on labelling

(compiled by Dr David Jukes)

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading index page, click here.


See also: Food Labeling in the UK: A Guide to the Regulations

Updated January 2014

For a copy of the EU Regulation 1169/2011: Click Here
For a copy of the English Food Information Regulations 2014 No 1855: Click Here

On this page:
  • EU Law and Guidance - Description of the legislation controlling food labelling in the EU with links to EU documents
  • UK Law and Guidance - Links to the UK legislation and guidance notes implementing the EU law

EU Law and Guidance


Agreed EU-wide controls on food labelling were introduced with Directive 79/112 in 1979. Additional controls were added and amendments introduced to produce a complex array of labelling requirements. In 2000, the original 1979 Directive and its amendments were consolidated into a single new Directive - Directive 2000/13/EC. Additional Directives relating to labelling continued to be adopted. This situation was complex - for details, see the Food Labelling Archive Page on this site.

In January 2008 the Commission published proposals for new controls under the new name: "provision of food information to consumers". After detailed consideration (see the Food Labelling Archive Page), Regulation 1169/2011 was adopted. This provides a consolidated structure to the legislation and includes, for the first time, the controls on nutrition labelling. Many elements have remained the same but there have been some additional and amended requirements. Implementation was mostly from 13 December 2014 although compulsory nutrition labelling was only applicable from 13 December 2016.

Note: Although Regulation 1169/2011 has consolidated many aspects of food labelling, requirements relating to other aspects can still be found in other EU legal documents and these are not currently listed here. In particular there are separate controls on nutrition and health claims and on foods containing genetically modified ingredients. For details see separate pages on this site:

Additional information can be found on the European Commission's pages:

Access to the EU Legal Documents

The labelling regulation (or more correctly now - 'food information' regulation) was adopted on 29 September 2011 and published in the Official Journal on 22 November 2011. It mostly applied from 13 December 2014 (see Article 55 of the Regulation) with the exception of the new mandatory nutrition labelling requirement which became effective from 13 December 2016. There were a few additional transitional provisions - see Article 54 for details.


Consolidated Document

For a consolidated version of the original regulation but incorporating the amendments to the text, see:

Implementing Measures

Regulation 1169/2011 provides the Commission with authority to issue implementing regulations (following specified procedures). The following have been issued:

EU Guidance Documents

The Commission has published the following guidance documents:

Also available is guidance provided by FoodDrink Europe/EuroCommerce:

UK Law and Guidance

Note that currently the UK is in transition between the former EU Directive 2000/13 and the new EU Regulation 1169/2011. For details of the requirements under UK legislation implementing Directive 2000/13, see the Food Labelling Archive Page


Implementation of Regulation 1169/2011 takes place separately for the four parts of the United Kingdom:




Northern Ireland

Guidance Documents

Guidance has been developed and the following are available:

Food Information Regulations 2014: Draft Guidance (version2) (Prepared by DEFRA, June 2014) [Note: Although published by DEFFRA as a draft, no final version appears to have been published. There is much more detailed information in the FSA document below and it is recommended that the FSA guidance is used in preference to this draft publication]
Food Information Regulations 2014: Summary guidance for food business operators and enforcement officers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Prepared by the FSA and relates to the enforcement regulations for the EU Food Information Regulation 1169/2011, December 2014)

Technical Guidance on Nutrition Labelling (Prepared by Department of Health, June 2013).

See also supporting document: Summary of the EU FIC Provisions Governing Expression of Nutrition Information per 100g/ml and per Portion/Consumption Unit

BRC Guidance on Allergen Labelling and the Requirements in Regulation 1169/2011 (Prepared by BRC/FDF with support from the Food Standards Agency,March 2013)
BRC-FDF Guidance on “Free-From” Allergen Claims (November 2015)
Allergy: what to consider when labelling food: A guide for small and medium businesses that make or sell prepacked food (Prepared by the Food Standards Agency, June 2014). Although not so related to 'food labelling', the following has also been published by the FSA: Allergen information for loose foods: Advice on the new Food Information Regulations for small and medium food businesses (June 2014)
Guidance on application of country of origin and place of provenance rules for fresh, chilled and frozen meat of swine, sheep, goats and poultry. (Prepared by the Food Standards Agency, 2017)

Guidance on comparative nutrition claims (published by the UK's Food and Drink Federation in January 2018)

Industry Guidance on Setting Product Shelf Life (November 2017)
Labelling Guidance: Best practice on food date labelling and storage advice (November 2017)
Nutrition Legislation Information Sheet. This document, published by the Department of Health, is intended to help food businesses comply with nutrition legislation - some sections relate to labelling requirements. (Orignally published in 2014, an updated version was published March 2018)

Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling This is permitted under EU Regulation 1169/2011 where member states, under certain criteria, are authorised to recommend 'additonal forms of expression or presentation of the nutrition declaration' (see Article 35). The Deprtment of Health (in association with the devolved administrations) has recommneded a UK wide scheme:

Guide to Creating a Front of Pack (FoP) Nutrition Label for Pre-packed Products sold through Retail Outlets (Depaartment of Health, June 2013)

This page was first provided on 30 October 2001

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading Index page, click here.