The Fish Labelling Regulations

Fish and shellfish products are subject to general requirements which apply to all foodstuffs, as well as some more specific regulations.

General requirements for labelling are outlined in the Food Information to Consumers Regulation 1169/2011. They require all pre-packaged foods to be labelled with a name, a list of ingredients, a use-by or best before date, storage conditions, and the name and address of the manufacturer or packer. They also contain several other general rules which cover nutrition, country of origin, and health claims.

More specific legislation is also in place to regulate fishery and aquaculture products, including raw fish, fish fillets, and shellfish. The main requirements of these regulations are the inclusion of traceability information, and information about when the product must be sold to the final consumer.

Seafood products are also subject to rules about nutrition and health claims, which bears particular relevance when packagers choose to highlight omega-3. Health claims must be approved before being applied to packaging. More about this can be read in this Seafish guidance note.

It is important to remember that these general labelling requirements apply to retail sales to the final consumer only; traceability requirements, on the other hand, apply throughout the distribution chain.

Seafish produced a guide to seafood labelling under the previous Regulations.  This has been retained as an archive document but it should be read in conjunction with the guides to current Regulations.