Labelling laws

Labelling requirements for food sold in Australia and New Zealand are set by the Food Standards Code.

Provisions for nutrition labelling on menus at larger fast and snack food outlets are also contained in the Food Act 2003 (NSW) and in Food Regulation 2015.

The NSW Food Authority is responsible for administering and enforcing these provisions in NSW.

Information on a food label is also subject to Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits false, misleading or deceptive representations (see Truth in Labelling).

Information that must appear on a label

 The Food Standards Code states that all food labels must contain the following information:

  • Name and/or description of the food
  • Identification of the ‘lot’ number *
  • Name and Australian street address of the supplier of food *
  • List of ingredients
  • Date mark
  • Nutrition information panel (NIP)
  • Country of origin of the food
  • Warning and advisory statements

This information must be legible, prominent and in English. If a label is in another language, that’s okay so long as essential information is also in English.

* Food labels are legally required to show the name and Australian or New Zealand business address of the manufacturer or supplier (packer or vendor importer) plus the lot and batch number of the food (or date coding) to enable efficient food recalls. Food is recalled when it poses a possible public health and safety risk to consumers.