Labelling & Packaging Information

Labelling Guidelines for Food Importers & Manufacturers

Overview

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) administers the Sale of Food Act and the Singapore Food Regulations to ensure that food made available for sale in Singapore are safe for consumption to safeguard public health.

The food labelling requirements under the Act and Regulations are primarily to support food safety regime. SFA takes reference from the international food standards setting body, the Codex Alimentarius Commission1, when reviewing the labelling requirements for Singapore.

Food label is one of the most important and direct means for sellers to communicate product information to buyers. It is one of the primary means by which consumers differentiate between individual foods and brands to make informed food choices at point of sale, before consuming. It also helps consumers to identify a food product in the case of food safety incident.

All pre-packed food products for sale in Singapore must be labelled according to the general labelling requirements of the Food Regulations.

Some pre-packed food products (e.g. special purpose foods, foods with nutrition or health claims, etc.) are required to meet additional labelling requirements.

Food importers, distributors, manufacturers, producers, packers and retailers (hereinafter known as “food business operator”) should ensure that their pre-packed food is labelled correctly before making the product available for sale in Singapore. The mandatory labelling information on food labels is important to help to protect public health and safety and is largely in line with the principles of the international food standards.

Pre-packed food product refers to any food product that is packed in a wrapper or container in advance, before being put up for sale.

Food label refers to any tag, brand, mark, or statement in words, pictures or diagrams, that is on, attached to, used, displayed in connection with or accompanying any food or package containing food. The label provides consumers with basic information of product such as the food product's source, nature, contents (e.g. ingredients, allergens), quantity and quality.

The following foods are exempted from the general and additional labelling requirements:

  • food packed in non-retail containers (i.e. for supply to food manufacturers or food services for further use). However, food business operators may wish to include information of the food on the non-retail containers on a voluntary basis.
  • Non-prepacked foods, i.e. food which is weighed, counted or measured in the presence of the purchaser and food which is loosely packed in the retailer's premises are exempted from these general labelling requirements.
  • Foods sold loose in retail outlets, for example cold meats or cheeses sold from delicatessen counter, bread sold in bakery shops, meat sold at butchers, pick and mix confectionery
  • Foods which are not sold pre-packed, such as meals served in a restaurant, catering and food from a takeaway.

However, the seller must be able to provide the same information to consumers, when asked. For example, allergen information can be communicated through a variety of means (e.g. menu or standee) to suit how information is displayed for sale at the food premises.

The sections below will provide an overview of the labelling requirements. For a detailed guide to self-check food labels and nutrition claims, please download:

You can also refer to SFA's Interactive Label, which illustrates the various features and information found on a complying label.

About SFA's appointed food labelling consultants

As part of SFA's continuous effort to assist food businesses to comply with the Food Regulations in terms of food labelling and advertising, SFA has collaborated with our local institutes of higher learning (listed in alphabetical order below) as SFA's appointed food labelling consultants. Appointed food labelling consultants will provide consultation service* to the food businesses on food labels and advertisements of prepacked food to help them comply with the Food Regulations.

  • Nanyang Polytechnic through its School of Chemical and Life Sciences
  • Republic Polytechnic through its School of Applied Science
  • Singapore Polytechnic through its Food Innovation and Resource Centre(FIRC)
  • Temasek Polytechnic through its School of Applied Science

* Consultancy fees may apply depending on service provided

Name of Institute of Higher Learning Contact details    List of SFA's appointed food labelling consultants

Nanyang Polytechnic

 

Dr Gan Heng Hui
Email: gan_heng_hui@nyp.edu.sg
Telephone: 65501528

1. Dr Gan Heng Hui
2. Ms Tay Mia Eng
3. Ms Lena Ling
4. Ms Seah Lay Hoon
           

Republic Polytechnic

 

Mr Eric Kwek
Email: eric_kwek@rp.edu.sg
Telephone: 66971788

1. Ms Eng Yong Yong
2. Ms Loh Sow Wai
3. Ms Chaitra Jagdish
4. Ms Yvonne Cheng
5. Mr Eric Kwek
6. Mr Samuel Aw

Singapore Polytechnic

 

Mr Zen Tan
Email: zen_tan@sp.edu.sg
Telephone: 68704619

1. Ms Carolyn Stephen
2. Ms Chen Ying Jie
           
           

Temasek Polytechnic

Ms Johanna Tan
Email: TANJO@tp.edu.sg
Telephone: 67806202

1. Ms Johanna Tan
2. Ms Saihah Binte Mohamed Salleh

1The Codex Alimentarius Commission is the international food standards body established by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.