The law relating to the labelling of milk products is governed by the following regulations:
- The Food Labelling Regulations 1996;
- The Condensed and Dried Milk (England) Regulations 2003;
- The Condensed and Dried Milk (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2008;
- The Casein and Caseinates Regulations 1985;
- The Casein and Caseinates (Amendment) Regulations 1989;
- The Spreadable Fats (Marketing Standards) and the Milk and Milk Products (Protection of Designations) (England) Regulations 2008.
Labelling raw milk
In addition to the general requirements set out in the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 there are some specific requirements relating to raw milk (excluding raw milk from buffaloes).
It is a requirement that the container in which raw milk is sold be marked or labelled with the words “This milk has not been heat-treated and may therefore contain organisms harmful to health”.
Where raw milk is sold at a catering establishment and is not prepacked it is a requirement that the container in which the milk is sold be labelled or that there be a ticket or notice that is readily discernible by an intending purchaser at the purchase place stating “milk supplied in this establishment has not been heat-treated and may therefore contain organisms harmful to health.
Labelling products consisting of skimmed milk together with non-milk fat
It is a requirement that the container in which any product consisting of skimmed milk together with non-milk fat which is capable of being used as a substitute for milk (other than infant formulas, follow-on formulas and products specially formulated for infants or young children for medical purposes) is sold be prominently marked or labelled with a warning that the product is unfit, or not to be used, as food for babies.
Labelling condensed and dried milk
The following descriptions of products are referred to as “reserved descriptions”:
- Partly dehydrated milk (condensed / evaporated milk);
- Totally dehydrated milk (dried milk)
The Regulations set out detailed criteria which must be met before a product can be described using one of these reserved descriptions.
The Regulations prohibit the sale or marketing of food with a label which bears, comprises or includes a reserved description unless:
- the product corresponds with the reserved description for that product in question; the description, derivative or word used is used in a context which indicates that it relates only to an ingredient of the food in question; or the description, derivative or word is used in a context whereby and it cannot be confused with one of the reserved descriptions.
For more information on:
- Labelling caseins and caseinates
- Vitamin content for spreadable fats
- Failure to comply with the Regulations