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Labelling & Composition Standards

Food Standards Scotland has policy responsibility for food information, food labelling, food standards and nutrition labelling in Scotland.

Food information

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of Food Information to Consumers sets out how consumers should be provided with food information to allow them to make informed choices and to make safe use of food. The Regulation updates and consolidates the European Union rules on general food labelling and nutrition labelling. The Regulation is available on the eur-lex website.

The Food Information (Scotland) Regulations 2014 (as amended) provide for the enforcement of the EU Regulation in Scotland. The Regulations also establish the enforcement measures for food information law. The Food Standards Agency has Summary Guidance on Food Information Regulations 2014 for food business operators and enforcement officers which is available at food.gov.uk.

Additional Measures in Scotland

The Food (Scotland) Act 2015 introduced an additional food information requirement for food business operators. From 1 April 2015 it became an offence for any food business operator who considers that food information law has been contravened to fail to notify Food Standards Scotland. This requirement aligns the duty to report any breach of food information law with the duty to report unsafe food.

The Food (Scotland) Act 2015 also gave scope through Regulations to use powers under the Act to address apparent contraventions of food information law. Separate Scottish Regulations, which applied from 19 January 2016, specify the Food Information (Scotland) Regulations 2014 as food information law for the purposes of the Act and enable enforcement authorities to seize or detain food where it appears that food information law is being contravened. These new powers align the treatment of food suspected of being in breach of food information law with the treatment of food which is believed to be unsafe. However, in the case of food that appears to contravene information law, sheriffs have been given greater discretion about how to treat the food such as having the food information modified.

Neither of these new measures currently applies to the rest of the UK.

More on food labelling

For Front-of-Pack nutrition, Allergy labelling, Date labelling and Storage information, see our Understanding Food Labels advice.

More on this topic

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Related

Food allergies

Although most allergic reactions to food are mild, some can be very serious or fatal.

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