Food standards

What are food standards?

Food standards relate to the quality, composition, labelling, presentation and advertising of all food and of materials or articles in contact with food. Food standards laws can be complex and numerous.

Businesses must follow the law in relation to:

  • The labelling and advertising of food
  • The composition of food – labelling of a food product must be an accurate reflection of the composition of the product e.g. 100 per cent beef burger should only contain beef
  • The nature, substance and quality of food e.g. cod and chips should be just that and not substituted with other fish
  • False and misleading claims about food e.g. you must be able to verify claims like 'local', 'homemade', 'fresh', 'natural', 'organic' and 'free-range'
  • Nutritional information must be accurate

Food Information Regulations 2014

To find out more about these requirements please read the Food information regulations summary (102KB pdf).

Food allergies

For interactive training please visit the FSA website for their food allergy training tool which highlights steps that should be followed to make sure good practice is used in the manufacture and production of food.
Visit the allergen guidance page on the FSA website to access a variety of tools available to businesses to help comply with legal requirements including allergen charts, chef recipe charts and an allergy and intolerance sign. 

Where do I go for advice on food labelling?

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is responsible for standards legislation in England that is principally non-safety related. The publish guidance on the composition and labelling of a variety of foodstuffs.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) also produce information on food standards that are principally safety based.

Further guidance is also available from Business Companion. This guidance applies to the labelling of food which has been packaged by retailers, wholesalers or manufacturers for retail sale from premises other than at the place of packing.

If you would like advice or to make a complaint about food standards please contact the Food and Safety team, details below or fill in our food safety online reporting form.

Contact details

Hammersmith & Fulham Council
The Environment Department
Food and Safety Team
Hammersmith Town Hall
W6 9JU

020 8753 1081