In order to ensure correct utilization of the food, the Food Regulations require the manufacturer or the packer to mention the “ Instructions for use” on the label on the Pre-packaged food. The instructions may include the directions regarding reconstitution or dilution of the product before use, where applicable.
10.1. On every container of infant milk substitute or infant food the following instructions are required to be given :
(i) After opening up the package/container, use the contents within the period mentioned or the expiry date whichever is earlier;
(ii) The feeding chart and directions for use and instruction for discarding leftover feed;
(iii) Instruction for use of measuring scoop (level or heaped) and the quantity per scoop (scoop to be given with pack);
(iv) The storage condition specifically stating “store in a cool and dry place in an air tight container”
10.2. On every package containing condensed milk or desiccated (dried) milk, the following instruction is required to be given on the label :
(i) “machine skimmed” “skimmed” or “unsuitable for babies” except instructions as to dilution as follows:
“To make a fluid not below the composition of toned milk or skimmed milk (as the case may be) with the contents of this package, add (here insert the number of parts) of water by volume to one part by volume of this condensed milk or desiccated (dried) milk”.
10.3. On the packages of fruit and vegetables, the following instructions may be mentioned :
(i)Wash all fruit and vegetables with cool tap water immediately before eating. Do not use soap or detergents as this can affect the taste.
(ii)Scrub fruit and vegetables with hard surfaces (such as rockmelons, oranges, potatoes and carrots) with a clean produce brush. Cut away bruised or damaged areas before eat.
If a product requires specific storage instructions to remain safe until its ‘use-by’ or ‘best before’ date, the manufacturers have to give storage instructions on label, such as ‘Keep refrigerated’ and ‘Store in a cool, dark place’.
It must also include appropriate directions for the subsequent use and storage of the food, where the food requires such directions for reasons of health and safety (e.g. Refrigerate after opening or Keep Refrigerated )
Refrigerate After Opening
Some foods require to be kept refrigerated only after opening the package. If the package says refrigerate after opening, the food has to be refrigerated immediately after opening it. As long as the food is kept refrigerated after opening, germs cannot multiply and cause illness.
When the package is required to be refrigerated at all times. This includes before opening the food and afterwards if keeping it for later use.
Instructions for preparation or cooking
It is also important to mention preparation or cooking instructions on the label, including heating and defrosting times. Again, manufacturers are required to provide preparation directions on food labels for any food which requires specific preparation to ensure they are safe. Such instructions are extremely important because they can help to kill any harmful bacteria which may be present naturally in some foods.
A food label needs to contain the instructions & directions about how a product should be used or prepared to be consumed by the end customer. It should also mention as how a product should be stored before using and how to store the remaining contents after consuming parts of the package.
PS – This is the module 10 of the 15 modules free e-course on food labeling in compliance with the Food Safety and Standards Act. There are specific requirements on the labelling of baby food products, all this and more would be in our next module.
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.