Food information and claims

In addition to making and suppling food that is safe, food businesses must ensure that they comply with a wide range of obligations relating to food standards such as compositional requirements, food authenticity, food information and claims.

Consumers’ needs are varied and might arise due to safety concerns, such as being allergic to a particular substance, or they might be based on the stated environmental credentials of a product or service.

Businesses must provide consumers with complete and accurate information to allow each consumer to make informed choices about the food they require. This may be information in respect of pre-packed or non-prepackaged foods, or in relation to other forms of product marketing, advertising and promotion.

The nutrition and health aspects of food law have never been more ‘front and centre’ and this an example of the interaction between policy, regulation and legislation. Nutrition and health claims may be made under certain conditions and our barristers are experienced in providing advice on the applicable legal requirements.

The sale of high fat sugar and salt products (HFSS) has come under close scrutiny in recent times. Legislation relating to the promotion and placement of such foods was due to come into force but its introduction has been delayed.

As well as advising on traditional legislation in this area such as food information and claims, our team are able to advise on the advertising issues that arise on the marketing of foods.

The rules applicable to food information, whether generally or product specific, and to nutrition and health claims are wide-ranging and complex.
We can help food businesses and their advisors negotiate the regulatory path to compliance.

If things go wrong, we are available to provide guidance and representation to assist the business achieve the best possible legal, practical, commercial and reputational outcome.

Our barristers also advise the relevant competent authority on this area of law and on the appropriate action that is available to regularise any non-compliance.

Recent work in this area includes:

  • Re: a food wholesaler – for the defence in a prosecution involving the alleged presence of undeclared allergens
  • Re: a food sector organisation – advising in respect of the legality of various claims having regard to the nutrition and health claims regulation and the EU Register on nutrition and health claims
  • Re: a food manufacturer – advising in respect of labelling requirements for food supplements
  • Seminars – providing seminars to food businesses on the impact of the Provision of Food Information to Consumers Regulation
  • Seminars – presenting at a seminar on EU food law and on updates in food law to a large organisation in the food sector
  • Advising an international food business in respect of environmental claims
  • Advising an international food business on the changes to the Bread and Flour Regulations
  • Advising in respect of food information and health claims in the context of food supplements
  • Advising on the use of nutrition and health claims and the new GB register
  • Advising on umbrella labelling for food supplements involving an assessment of the borderline between foods and medicinal products