Food information and health and nutrition claims

Consumers make their own choices and need sufficient and correct information to support their decisions. Food labelling gives consumers information about the ingredients, origin, production method and proper use of the product. The information also enables consumers to avoid expired food and helps them to choose healthier products. Nutrition and health claims state that a foodstuff has beneficial nutritional or health properties.

Legislation on mandatory food information

Legislation on mandatory food information is almost fully harmonised EU legislation. Mandatory labelling requirements for all foodstuffs are laid down in the Food Information Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council. The regulation came into force 13 December 2014. It applies to all foods intended for final consumers, including non-prepacked food and foods served to consumers by professional kitchens. Requirements concerning information on non-prepacked food are determined at the national level.

Nutrition labelling

Nutrition labelling gives consumers information about the nutritional composition of the food, its energy value and the amounts of nutrients it contains. Nutrition labelling enables consumers to compare different products and choose foodstuffs that are appropriate for their own health and well-being.

The EU Food Information Regulation combines general food labelling requirements and nutrition labelling requirements. In principle, the regulation makes nutrition labelling mandatory. The Food Information Regulation’s requirements concerning mandatory nutrition labelling will apply from 13 December 2016.

Further information on mandatory food information:

European Commission’s website:

Evira’s website:


Further information

Anne Haikonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Legislative Affairs 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ruokaosasto, Elintarviketurvallisuusyksikkö 0295162438