Food quantity labelling requirements and exemptions
In most cases, food items must be labelled with a statement of quantity. There are a few exemptions from this requirement, which are listed on this page.
Labelling requirements for food items
Food — including drink and chewing gum — must be marked or labelled with a statement of quantity in the form of either:
- net weight
- net volume, or
- number of the contents in a package.
Use the quantity that's most appropriate for the sale of the item concerned.
See General quantity labelling requirements for detailed information on how to label goods.
Where two or more packages of food — each separately packed in its own package — are packed together in an outer container, and that container isn't intended to be removed before the food is offered for retail sale, this outer container must be marked/labelled with a statement of quantity.
The accepted ways to do this are either:
- The outer package can be marked with the total quantity of all the packages. For example, if the outer package contains 3 separately packed packages each weighing 500g net:
- each package must be marked with the quantity statement '500g', and
- the outer package must be marked 'Net 1.5kg'.
- The outer package can be marked with the number of packages contained in the outer package and the quantity of each of those packages. For example, if the entire package contains:
- one 450g package of mince, one 500g package of sausages and one 380g package of rump steak, the outer package could be marked “Contents 3 packs: Mince 450g, Sausages 500g, Rump steak 380g”.
- 4 cans of beans, each weighing 400g net, the outer package could be marked “4 × Net 400g cans”.
Exemptions from these requirements
The following types of food items are exempt from the requirement to mark a statement of quantity:
- Packages of food not intended for retail sale.
- Items of confectionery or chocolate that are:
- less than 15g or 15ml, or
- single novelty items, or
- single Easter eggs.
- Packages of food ordinarily sold by number, if:
- there are not more than 8 single items, and
- they're contained in a transparent wrapping, and
- the contents can be clearly seen and counted by the prospective purchaser.
- Raw fruit or raw vegetables that are packed:
- immediately after they are picked, and
- in a package intended for retail sale, and
- in units no greater than 500g.
- Packaged sandwiches, filled rolls, hamburgers, takeaways and similar packaged food intended for immediate consumption.
- Any package of food requested by the purchaser and the purchaser is present when the seller:
- weighs, counts or measures the package, or
- packages the food then weighs, counts or measures the package.
- Food sold at fund-raising events.