India has a large audience for both Veg & Non-Veg food, but some of the communities are restricted by religion where Non-Veg food is not entertained, also there are people who have their personal preference for ‘Veg only’ food items. To safeguard the interests and the sentiments of such people a food product label must have the identification mark “Veg” or “Non-Veg” for the category of food.
It is mandatory for all food manufacturers to indicate as to whether the food item contains any non-vegetarian ingredients or not. To enable the consumer to know whether any packaged food is vegetarian or non-vegetarian, this will be indicated in the form of a brown circle in square or green circle in a square on the package. A brown circle is to indicate the presence of non-vegetarian ingredients in the food item, while a green circle indicates that the food item is vegetarian. The green circle and brown circle in a square are indicated as veg & non-veg logos respectively.
Let us first understand as per food laws what is a non-vegetarian food and what is vegetarian food.
“Non- Vegetarian Food” means an article of food which contains whole or part of any animal including birds, fresh water or marine animals or eggs or products of any animal origin, but excluding milk or milk products, as an ingredient.
“Vegetarian Food” means any article of Food other than Non- Vegetarian Food.
The Veg , Non veg logo should be placed near the product name so that consumer can easily identify the product that the product is vegetarian or contain any non-vegetarian content.
(i) The size of the logo depends upon the size of the product. The size of the logo i.e. the diameter of the circle and side of the square shall be in accordance to the size of the label.
(ii) The package of “Non Vegetarian” food shall have a symbol and color code as given below to indicate that the product is Non-Vegetarian Food. The symbol shall consist of a brown color filled circle having a specified diameter at the centre of the brown square.
Click here to download the Non-Veg Logo
If any article of food contains egg only as Non-Vegetarian ingredient, the manufacturer, or packer or seller has to mention the same along with the said symbol.
The package of Vegetarian Food shall bear a symbol and color code as given below to indicate that the product is Vegetarian Food. The symbol shall consist of a green color filled circle, having a specified diameter not less than the minimum size inside the square with green outline having specified size.
Click here to download the Veg Logo
There are some products like carbonated water and liquid milk which are exempted from this provision, hence these markings are not required on these products.
So, it is mandatory that labeling of every food product should indicate “Veg” or “Non-Veg” element in the ingredients through recommended marks on the label enabling the user to make a choice.
PS – This is the module 5 of the 15 modules free e-course on food labeling in compliance with the Food Safety and Standards Act. We will continue with our discussion on food labelling and would further share details about food additives and how they have to be mentioned on the labels.
Once you register and subscribe to the course, we will send you the first module on the third day from the registration and the subsequent modules will be sent in the similar pattern i.e. with a gap of two days.