General Information

The Regulation covers nutrition and health claims made on all foods marketed within the European Union. 

Also includes:
Food supplements, foods for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTS), natural mineral waters, water intended for human consumption and foods intended for supply to restaurants, hospitals, schools, canteens and similar mass caterers.

Also Covers:


  • The use of all wording and symbols which imply that a food provides a particular nutritional or health benefit.
  • Nutrition and health claims made in commercial communications whether in the labelling, presentation or advertising of foods to be delivered to the final consumer, including communication addressed exclusively to health professionals. 

Trade Marks and Brand Names

 A trade mark, brand name or fancy name appearing in the labelling, presentation or advertising of a food which may be construed as a nutrition or health claim may be used without undergoing the authorisation procedures provided for in the Regulation, provided that it is accompanied by a related nutrition or health claim in that labelling, presentation or advertising which complies with the provisions of the Regulation.

Products bearing trade marks or brand names existing before 1 January 2005 which do not comply with this Regulation may continue to be marketed until 19 January 2022 after which time the provisions of the Regulation will apply.


Health claims are not allowed on beverages containing more than 1.2% by volume of alcohol.

However, nutrition claims referring to low alcohol levels, or the reduction of the alcohol content, or the reduction of the energy content for beverages containing more than 1.2% by volume of alcohol are permitted.

Does not apply to:
Claims made in non-commercial communications, such as dietary guidelines or advice issued by public health authorities and bodies, or non-commercial communications and information in the press and in scientific publications.

Aim of Legislation

To allow consumers to make informed food choices, by ensuring that they receive accurate information and are not misled.

  • Claims made on foods must be clear and understandable by the average consumer.
  • Claims that exaggerate a food’s expected health benefits and/or are not adequately substantiated by scientific evidence will no longer be permitted.

Advantages for Food Business Operators (FBO)

  • Claims authorised under this legislation are harmonised, allowing FBOs to use these scientifically substantiated claims across the EU as marketing tools.
  • The investment made by FBOs in ensuring claims they make on food products are authorised and conform to the provisions of the Regulation, is protected as unauthorised claims will not be allowed to be used on foods marketed within the EU.

Guidance on complying with this legislation

Last reviewed: 12/10/2020

Food Labelling


Make a Complaint

  • If you’re not happy with the standard of hygiene or food that you've bought in a restaurant or shop you should make a complaint.