In the earlier articles we have been discussing the general requirements of labeling and the information in general to be given on the label of any package of food. In addition to the general requirements and information, there are also some specific requirements and information, which are product specific and mandatory to be given on the label on the packages of food products.
The packages of food products like:
(i) Infant Milk Substitute and Infant foods including Infant Milk Substitute meant for premature baby or meant for babies who are allergic to milk proteins or allergic to milk sugars
(ii) Edible oils and fats
(iii)Irradiated foods and
(iv) Other Food Products namely ; Coffee-Chicory Mixture, milk and milk powder, Compounded Asafetida , Mixed Masala, Iodised salt, Pan masala , Supari ,
Packaged drinking water and many others , are required to give certain product specific information , statements or warnings, which are as given below :-
1. Infant milk substitutes /infant foods
The container of infant milk substitute or infant food shall bear the following additional label declaration in the manner give below:
“IMPORTANT NOTICE” :“MOTHER’S MILK IS BEST FOR YOUR BABY”
(This declaration shall be given in the center of the label in color contrast of the label and the letter shall be not less than five millimeters .)
“Infant food shall be introduced only after the age of six months and upto the age of two years”
“ Infant milk substitute or infant food should be used only on the advice of a health worker “
Warning :” Infant milk substitute or infant food is not the sole source of nourishment of an infant”
Instruction for appropriate and hygienic preparation including cleaning of utensils, bottles and teats .
“ Caution- : Careful and hygienic preparation of infant foods/infant milk substitute is most essential for health. Do not use fewer scoops than directed since diluted feeding will not provide adequate nutrients needed by your infant. Do not use more scoops than directed since concentrated feed will not provide the water needed by your infant”.
“store in a cool and dry place in an air tight container” or After opening use the contents within the period mentioned or the expiry date whichever is earlier
The feeding chart and directions for use and instruction for discarding leftover feed; shall be given on the label.
Instruction for use of measuring scoop and the quantity per scoop has to be mentioned on the label along with the the protein efficiency ratio (PER) of the product.
2. Infant milk substitute meant for premature baby :
The containers of infant milk substitute meant for premature baby born before 37 weeks/low birth weight infant (less than 2500gm) shall indicate the following additional information, as :
(i) [PREMATURE BABY (BORN BEFORE 37 WEEKS) LOW BIRTH WEIGHT (LESS THAN 2.5 KG]
(ii) “The low birth weight infant milk substitute shall be withdrawn under medical advice as soon as the mother’s milk is sufficiently available’; and
(iii) “TO BE TAKEN UNDER MEDICAL ADVICE”
3. The product, which contains neither milk nor any milk derivatives
The product, which contains neither milk nor any milk derivatives, shall be labeled as:
“Contains no milk or milk product”
4. Infant milk substitute for lactose or lactose and sucrose intolerant infants
The container of infant milk substitute for lactose or lactose and sucrose intolerant infants shall indicate as:
“LACTOSE-FREE or SUCROSE-FREE or LACTOSE and SUCROSE-FREE”
“TO BE TAKEN UNDER MEDICAL ADVICE”
“Lactose free Infant Milk Substitute should only be used in case of diarrhea due to lactose intolerance.
The lactose free/sucrose free Infant Milk Substitute should be withdrawn if there is no improvement in symptoms of intolerance”.
5. Infant milk substitute meant for infants with allergy to cow’s /buffalo’s milk protein:
The container of infant milk substitute meant for infants with allergy to cow’s /buffalo’s milk protein or soy protein shall indicate as:
“TO BE TAKEN UNDER MEDICAL ADVICE”.
A food business operator has to specifically mention certain important instructions on the labels of baby milk substitutes, the statements like warning, caution etc should be properly commented and implanted on the label as per regulatory guidelines.
PS – This is the module 11 of the 15 modules free e-course on food labeling in compliance with the Food Safety and Standards Act. In the following module, the specific requirements and restrictions on labeling of edible oils & fats and the irradiated foods.
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.