A new food labelling law and a new government front-of-pack nutrition labelling scheme is coming into force by December 2014
The Front of Pack nutrition labelling scheme combines colour coding and percentage Reference Intakes in line with UK health ministers’ recommendations and the requirements of Article 35 of EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (EU FIC).
You can download the Front of pack nutrition on this link. It is voluntary and does not need to be on all food labels.
It can be in 2 formats:
- energy alone or
- energy plus fat, saturates, sugars and salt
New traffic light label
The front of pack labels will include information on the percentage of Reference Intake (RI) with traffic light colours – green, amber, red.
The lozenge label shows if products have high (red), medium (amber) or low (green) amounts of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar.
For healthy eating choose foods with greens and amber and go easy on the reds.
- Reference Intake (RI) is replacing Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA)
- Energy as calories and kilojoules are no longer colour coded.
- Kilojoules (kJ) are shown with calories (kcal) on front of packs and shown as 100g and per portion.
- The order of nutrition information on the nutrition table is changing.
- Sat fat is replaced with saturated fat, sugars are used instead of sugar, salt is shown instead of sodium.
- The government criteria for the traffic light colours has changed.
Reference Intakes are a guide to the maximum amounts of calories, fat, saturates, sugars and salt an adult should consume in a day (based on an average female adult). They were formerly known as Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs).
Traffic light labels help you to balance your diet. Sainsbury’s has a brilliant website on this.
How do I know if a food is high in fat, saturated fat, sugar or salt?
There are guidelines to tell you if a food is high in fat, saturated fat, salt or sugar, or not. These are:
Total fat High: more than 17.5g of fat per 100g Low: 3g of fat or less per 100g
Saturated fat High: more than 5g of saturated fat per 100g Low: 1.5g of saturated fat or less per 100g
Sugars High: more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g Low: 5g of total sugars or less per 100g
Salt High: more than 1.5g of salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium) Low: 0.3g of salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium)