Reading Food Labels
All Wattie’s products comply with the strict New Zealand laws in place for food labelling and composition that are governed by the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code (‘the Code’).
Here are some of the most useful things to look out for on any Wattie’s product label:
The order of ingredients on the Ingredients List tells you what’s in the product on a descending scale, from most to least present (by ingoing weight). So, the first ingredient listed is what’s in the product in the greatest amount. (e.g. navy beans in Wattie’s Baked Beans), and the last ingredient listed is what’s in the product in the smallest amount, such as any food additive or herbs and spices.
- Certain allergens, as stated in the Code, are required to be listed on the label of a food if they are present as an ingredient, a component of an ingredient, food additive or processing aid, or where a risk of cross contamination has been identified.To find out which Wattie’s foods are free from certain allergens visit www.mfd.co.nz
- There are 7 nutrients that must be shown on a Nutrition Information Panel – Energy, Protein, Total Fat, Saturated Fat, Carbohydrate, Sugars and Sodium. Other nutrients or components may also be shown if a claim is made about them on pack.
- You can use the per 100g or 100mL column in the Nutrition Information Panel to compare the amount of nutrients in different products. It is important to also take into account the serving size you are likely to eat.
- Best Before dates are shown on packaged foods that are at their best if consumed within a specific timeframe, although you may not find one on foods that have a long shelf life (such as most canned foods).
- Use By dates are only used on perishable foods such as milk or chilled fruit juices. These foods must not be consumed or sold after the Use By date.
- The label will also always contain any cooking and storage directions, plus the manufacturer’s contact details and a lot identification number so you can make contact if you have any problems with your product.
For more information about reading food labels, visit the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) website http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/labelling/Pages/default.aspx
All products produced or consumed in New Zealand are also governed by the NZ Food Safety Authority. To find out more information on their Food Regulatory programme their website is www.nzfsa.govt.nz