Mandatory Requirements For Food Labels in South Africa

18 Jul 2018

food labels

Before you’re ready to sell the secret sauce, contest-winning gherkins or flavour-filled jam, there are a few things to consider when creating food labels to stick onto your packaging. We’ve made things easier for you by listing the compulsory information the Department of Health requires to appear on packaging in order for food products to be sold in South Africa.

  1. Product Name

You are required to have a precise product name to inform the customer of exactly what is in the packaging. You can’t just have your brand name, your product name must appear on the label as well. For example, if your business is called Mr Pickles, your food labels need to read ‘Mr Pickles Premium Gherkins.’

  1. Ingredients

All ingredients used to create your product must appear on the food labels in descending order of mass.

  1. Allergens

Any potential allergens must be listed on the labels. For example, if you make pesto, you need to list your products are made using nuts and cheese therefore making them unsuitable for customers with dairy or nut allergies.

  1. Country of Origin

  2. Batch Number

  3. Best Before Date

  4. Nutritional Information

The R429 bill requires all caloric values to appear on food labels in an effort to make consumers more aware of what they are putting into their bodies and of their daily energy intake.

  1. Net Contents

This is the mass of product in the packaging. It could be in millilitres, grams or kilograms depending on the product.

  1. Restrictions

The following words may NOT appear on your food labels:

  • ‘x’ % fat free – instead this must be worded as ‘contains x % of fat’
  • Healthy/wholesome/balanced nutrition or any similar adjectives
  • Suitable For Diabetics/Diabetic-Friendly
  1. Claims

Any specific claims such as ‘sugar free’ or ‘fat free’ or ‘improves digestion’ as examples, are required to be tested in a SANAS accredited lab before they can appear on any food labels.

Don’t be put off by the seemingly stringent regulations as they follow worldwide standards. As consumers, we should be glad that our government has put these requirements in place to protect us and our health.

Shop food labels online…

Need food labels printed? Look no further than StickerAndLabelSA – an online printing service based in Durban. We print any quantity, shape and size, conveniently providing a platform on which you can upload your artwork and have the finished product delivered to your door in 1-2 business days. Simple as that!