Food labelling and datemarking

Food labelling

The Food Standards Agency (takes you to an external website) is responsible for all labelling and standards policy in Scotland.  They are involved in a range of initiatives to investigate what improvements you would like to see in relation to food labelling.

Environmental Health staff are responsible for food labelling enforcement in Fife. If you would like advice on the labelling requirements of food please contact us.

Food datemarking

If you sell or produce food it's your responsibility to ensure that all products have either a 'use by' date or a 'best before' date.

A 'use by' date should be displayed on highly perishable products, such as dairy or meat, that could cause you harm. Any specific storage conditions must also be stipulated on the packaging to preserve the use by date.

It is illegal for a business to sell food that's past the use by date as there is potential that it can cause illness.

Best before date

'Best before' dates are used on less perishable products such as biscuits, cereals and tinned produce.

The 'best before' date is when the manufacturer guarantees the quality of the product.  After this date the product might not be at its best, but it's unlikely that it would cause an illness if eaten.

It is not an offence for a shop to sell food past its 'best before' date unless it can be demonstrated that it's unfit for human consumption.

Food Advice
Tel: 01592 583228 Contact Food Advice online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT
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