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Food labelling

Consumers should be able to rely on the information on food labels, and be confident that minimum standards are met. We are here to help businesses comply with the law and to tackle misdescriptions and sub-standard food.

Food labels are there to give us information on what we eat. There are regulations that prevent manufacturers from using misleading food labels.

See the food allergy page for further advice

  • The law on food labeling changed from 13 December 2014*
  • We have been working with our businesses to ensure they are aware of the changes to food labels required
  • The most important change is a requirement that allergens are emphasised in the ingredients list
  • Previously this information was provided in various ways, causing confusion
  • Consumers with allergies or intolerance to certain foods will now only need to check the ingredients list

* EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation No. 1169/2011

  • Name of the food
  • List of ingredients with allergens emphasised
  • Storage instructions and instructions for use if appropriate
  • 'Best before' or 'use by' date
  • Name and address of manufacturer
  • Nutritional information
  • Quantity
  • Quantitative ingredients declarations (QUID)
  • Alcoholic content in drinks
  • Special claims

For more information gov.uk/guidance/food-labelling-loose-foods

  • Sample a wide range of food for analysis or examination to make sure the composition and labelling are accurate
  • Use our expertise to target suspect foodstuffs available on the market
  • Remain alert for instances of food substitution e.g. calling a food 'lobster' when it is in fact another species or perhaps selling a cheaper brand of whisky for a 'branded name'
  • The quality of food you eat is our business so we regularly visit food premises and carry out full inspections, which include safety checks that no perishable food is on sale past its 'use by' date. This includes sales of food in shops, pubs, takeaways and restaurants

We understand that businesses may have difficulty in understanding the wide range of legislation controlling the food market, so we use our expertise to offer advice and guidance in the following ways:

  • By sampling a wide range of food for analysis or examination to make sure the composition and labelling are accurate during inspections
  • Through business information leaflets
  • By offering advice to businesses about their particular problems

We are committed to supporting businesses across the county to trade fairly and safely, with the confidence that they are meeting their regulatory obligations. Our Food Standards Officers can offer guidance and assistance to help you understand and comply with the complex food labelling legislation which applies to your business. By following advice which is unique to your business we can help you get it right first time.

This is now a chargeable service - our fees are calculated on the basis of the officer time involved and charged in advance. The current hourly fee for this service is £80.00 (including VAT and on a cost recovery basis).

The time spent will be used to review the information you provide which may include
a review of labels, specifications, recipes, advertising and websites. Legislation and appropriate guidance information will be referred to in order to provide you with written comprehensive advice and guidance.

If you would like to request this service please email us with your request to publicprotectionwest@wiltshire.gov.uk or telephone us with your query on 01225 770411.


Wiltshire Council Food Standards Advice

Terms and Conditions

• Upon receipt of request
Upon receipt of your request for advice a named officer will be nominated as your point of contact.

• Acknowledgement
We will acknowledge your request within 5 working days and aim to provide business advice within 10 working days. If your enquiry is urgent or has a specific timescale requirement, please let us know and we will try to accommodate this, depending on the complexity of the enquiry and available resources.

 Provision of advice
Your point of contact officer will give you appropriate guidance and advice on the relevant Trading Standards legislation relevant to your request. This may include links to useful websites and discussion about examples of your products and/or services. If you would like assured advice please discuss the benefits of a Primary Authority Partnership advice with us.

• Fees
The provision of business advice on request is a chargeable service. No payment is required at the time a request is made. If the Council is able to undertake the work requested, a written quotation and details of how to make payment will be sent to you.   We regret that we are unable to offer invoicing or accept cash payments for this service.  Payment (inclusive of VAT) must be made at the time of acceptance of the authority’s written quotation for the work.
• Non-payment of fee
In the event on non-payment of the fee within 28 days the business request will be cancelled.

• Freedom of information
Please be aware that Wiltshire Council is subject to legal duties which may require the release of information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or The Environmental Information Regulations 1992 or any other applicable legislation or codes that govern access to information and that the Council may be under an obligation to provide such information on request, unless a relevant exemption applies.

• Data protection
Wiltshire Council maintains compliance to the General Data Protection Regulations and we will not release any personal information to third parties. 

• Breaches of legislation
Wiltshire Council is empowered to enforce a variety of civil and criminal statutes. It has a duty to investigate any allegations of breaches of such legislation and the provision of advice under this scheme does not affect this duty in any way whatsoever.

• Logos and affiliation
The use of this service does not entitle you or your business to use any of Wiltshire Council logos or claim any affiliation with Wiltshire Council or its Public Protection Service.

• Complaints
If you or your business have any complaints or are not satisfied with the quality of the business advice service provided please write in the first instance to:

Head of Public Protection
Public Protection Service
Wiltshire Council
Bythesea Road

If we are unable to satisfactorily resolve you concern then please refer to the corporate complaints procedure on how to make a complaint to Wiltshire Council, available at:

Please note:

These terms and conditions will be subject to review from time to time.

We make every effort to provide businesses with the support they need to comply with the law enforced by Wiltshire Council’s Public Protection Service.

Wilshire Council undertakes to ensure that only appropriately trained officers provide advice, that the advice will be impartial and that all reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that it is correct at the time at which it is given.

The advice is provided in good faith but ultimately it is only the Courts that can interpret statutory legislation with any authority. The advice is given on the basis of the information that the business provides. It remains the responsibility of the individual business to ensure that they are fully compliant.

Other sources of professional advice are available. You are under no obligation to purchase any of our services.


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Last updated: 18 April 2019 | Last reviewed: 18 April 2019