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Is your food packaging compliant?

food compliancy adpak

Particularly within the food industry, there are many rules and regulations when it comes to the packaging and labelling of food. It’s vital that consumers are given honest and genuine information regarding food that they purchase. Suppliers have a moral obligation to provide this information, so that consumers can make well-versed decisions.

We have briefly outlined some of the main points of food packaging compliance below.


If your company packages food, you must use packaging that is suitable for food use. To ensure you use the right type, look out for the wine glass and fork symbol, which indicates this is safe for food contact.

Special rules and regulations apply for using certain plastics and other materials; having a declaration of compliance allows you to show evidence that you have followed the correct guidelines. If you do not package your food yourself, you can request this declaration from your supplier.

You may be a business that is classed as an ‘obligated packer’, which means that you are required to meet certain rules and regulations in regards to recycling and environmental responsibilities. An obligated packer is a company who handled 50 tonnes of packaging materials or packaging in the previous calendar year, alongside having a turnover of more than £2 million per year.

The list that indicates if you are an obligated packer, illustrates a number of different activities that you may undertake. These include:

  1. Raw material manufacture
  2. Importing packaged goods from outside of the UK
  3. Packing & filling
  4. Supplying packaging by lending it
  5. Supplying packaged goods to the end user
  6. Converting raw materials into packaging


For packaged food, you must indicate several different things on the front, such as name of food, best before or use by date, and warnings (allergies etc.).

This is vital for indicating to the consumer whether or not this product is suitable for them to purchase. As well as the above, listing these other items on the front, side or back is also important:

  1. Ingredients
  2. Name and address of manufacturer, packer or seller
  3. Lot number
  4. Storage conditions
  5. Instructions for cooking
  6. Quantity information
  7. Country of origin

Some products have different rules for what to include on the label, as well as additional information. This is to ensure that the labels offer the consumer the most honest and useful information possible. Some of these products include: bottled water, fats and oils, meat and meat products, fish, bread, and flour.

Food assurance schemes, such as Red Tractor and Lion Eggs, offer the consumer even more trust when buying a product. These recognisable and familiar labels illustrate to customers that food products have been created to the appropriate standards, whether that’s safety, hygiene or animal welfare.

Currently, the legislation for food labelling within the UK is co-ordinated by the EU and the split down into other arms, such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Department of Health, and Defra. Concerns have already been raised as to whether or not packaging policies will change with the UK’s decision to leave the EU. As the rules are overseen at EU level, it’s not clear yet as to how this will affect our packaging laws and what the process may be to change them.

If you’re looking for a supplier of appropriate food packaging machines for your business, contact Adpak today for more details.


For more detailed information on food packaging compliancy, try these helpful links below: