Food labels play a crucial role in food safety, serving not only as an important medium for conveying product information but also as a key means of protecting consumer health and rights. Specifically, the functions of labels in terms of food safety include:

  • Providing Basic Information: Labels detail essential data such as the food’s name, ingredients, net contents, production date, and expiration date, helping consumers understand the basic attributes of the food they purchase.
  • Nutritional Information: Nutritional labels inform consumers about the content of various nutrients in the food, such as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, vitamins, and minerals, which is significant for nutritional balance and healthy eating.
  • Warning Specific Groups: For foods containing potential allergens, labels must clearly indicate this to alert consumers who are allergic to certain ingredients. Moreover, some foods may not be suitable for infants, pregnant women, or people with specific health conditions, and such warnings should also be clearly stated on the labels.
  • Consumption or Storage Guidance: Instructions on storage conditions and how to consume the food on the labels can help consumers properly store food, preventing spoilage and food poisoning due to improper storage.
  • Anti-counterfeiting and Traceability: High-quality labels serve as indicators of food authenticity, assisting consumers in distinguishing genuine products. Additionally, information such as batch numbers or tracking codes can quickly trace the production batch in case of food safety issues, facilitating recalls and handling.
  • Legal Compliance: Food labels must adhere to relevant laws and regulations, including accurately listing all ingredients and avoiding false or misleading advertising. This helps maintain market order and protects consumers from harmful foods.
  • Promoting Healthy Choices: With the information provided on labels, consumers can understand the nutritional value and health impacts of food, thereby making healthier food choices, such as opting for low-sugar, low-salt, or high-fiber foods.

In summary, food labels bridge producers, consumers, and regulatory bodies by offering detailed product information, aiding consumers in making safe and healthy food choices while encouraging producers to enhance food quality and safety levels.