Product labels | How to read them correctly?

Jak czytać etykiety produktów? Co oznaczają poszczególne oznaczenia?
Kyiv, Ukraine - Apr. 09, 2020: Buyers in a large grocery shopping center in Kiev buy essential goods during the coronavirus pandemic

Product labels contain information about what actually is in a product. It’s no use waiting. See how to find quality food. Packaging confuses us with an abundance of information which makes it difficult to evaluate it. What follows, we don’t know what to pay attention to. Fortunately, the law regulates what should be on a label.

  1. The actual product name

Don’t confuse with a brand name. Here, we mean, for example, “homogenized smoked-cooked pork sausage in an inedible casing”. A proper name is usually short and catchy and, as follows, easier to remember. All your doubts will be cleared up by the actual product name that is in a completely different place on a packaging.

  1. Use by

There are two criteria used for separate product groups. The first is use-by date. It informs buyers when it’s best to consume a product before it loses its properties and flavor. This term is used for products with a long expiry date. If such products are stored in the right way, they won’t get spoiled and be harmful to health.

Best-before date is used for products that get spoiled quickly. After a given date, it’s best not to consume such a product because it can be harmful to your health.

We should remember not to waste food that isn’t spoiled.

  1. Net deadweight

It’s a weight without the packaging. For a product in liquid etc., you’ll need the drained weight.

  1. Storage conditions

Meaning standard information – how to store a product so it won’t turn bad and make you sick. Usually there is a note if a product needs to be kept in special conditions.

A manufacturer is obligated to inform buyers if a product needs storing in special conditions.

  1. Ingredients

The most interesting thing to us. A manufacturer is obligated to disclose ingredients starting with the one that makes up the most content percentage-wise. The percentage value of other major ingredients should also be given. This allows us to compare the quality of products with the same name.

  1. Allergens

Information about possible allergens. Such ingredients should be written in bold.

If a product doesn’t contain this type ingredients but there is a risk that an allergen can be in it due to the product being produced or packed on the same production belt. Then, we can find the information, “may contain traces of…”

  1. Country of origin

In case of single ingredient products, a manufacturer is obligated to disclose its country of origin. In case of many ingredients, it’s enough to disclose the place of packaging or manufacturing.

  1. Water content

It’s very important for frozen foods and those with pickle.

  1. Information about the manufacturer

Apart from all the given data it should also be disclosed who produced what we want to buy and where.

  1. Nutritional value

It is also obligatory to provide the information about the nutritional value of a product on the label, namely, its energy value, fat, sugar, carbohydrate, salt, and protein content. These contents should be given per 100 g or 100 ml of the product.

As expected, the given information refers to products in packaging.

Do you pay attention to product labels?

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