Parents really make an effort to know what it is their kids are eating and what is good for them along with what should be avoided. However, some of the labelling that is required by law can be a bit disconcerting and even food producers are sometimes uncertain exactly how they should be labelling certain foods. If you are amongst those parents who try to give their children wholesome, fresh foods with a minimum of additives and preservatives, it might be a good idea to understand the labelling criteria established by the government’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Strict Rules and Guidelines for Consumer Protection
One of the main reasons why the Food Standards Agency established strict criteria for labelling food products is for consumer safety and protection. Some foods have a shorter shelf life than others while some may contain questionable additives and preservatives. In an effort to establish a standardised method of distinguishing one category from another, the FSA wrote a marketing guidance so that all labels mean the same thing even when used by other producers. In other words, the terminology is industry standard.
What Brits Should Be Looking At
There are some foods that are seasonal and if they are labelled fresh in an out season in the UK then one of two things is probably true. Either the product is mislabelled and isn’t fresh at all OR it has been imported from another country where it is in season. Those families looking to buy British meats and produce need to be cognisant of growing seasons. For this reason, reputable and highly renowned industry advice from world class chefs such as those listed as Eat Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef Llambassadors will explain the difference between lamb in season and lamb out of season. Does this make a difference? You bet it does! Also important to chefs of this calibre would be beef and lamb fed only the grains they should be fed for proper growth and how to avoid meats that come from cattle that have eaten grains with pesticides. Did you know that the label can tell you all that in just a single word or two? The truth is, it can.
The 11 Categories Outlined in the FSA Marketing Guidance
If you are curious as to what the marketing guidance means by the terminology, you can easily do a
search on each of the terms. However, the following are the terms you should become aware of if you really intend to know exactly what your kids are eating. These labelling terms include:
Authentic, Real or Genuine
Premium, Best, Quality, Finest
A solid understanding of each of those labelling categories should give you a much clearer idea of exactly what your child is eating. It should be understood that there are stiff penalties for a food producer or distributor that purposely mislabels food products. This is why so many families will only buy foodstuffs produced in Europe or the UK. By buying from countries that are under strict regulations, chances are the labelling is accurate and you can know exactly what your child is eating.
*This is a collaborative post