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Food Labeling for Processed Foods

Labeling of Processed Foods

Labeling of processed foods shall follow the Quality Labeling Standard for Processed Foods.(PDF:93KB) Labeling of the items below is mandatory by the Codex General Standard for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods (CODEX STAN 1-1985).

1) Name;

2) Name of ingredients;

3) Net content;

4) Best before;

5) Name and address of manufacturers, etc.; and

6) Instruction for storage.

Additional mandatory labeling requirements may apply as below:

1. Origin labeling
Labeling of country of origin is mandatory for imports so that consumers are not misled.

2. Place of origin labeling of a main ingredient
Labeling of place of origin of a main ingredient is mandatory for domestically manufactured 20 categories of processed foods. The list of categories of foods is contained as Attached Table 2 of the Quality Labeling Standard for Processed Foods.

The criteria for selecting categories of foods are established by the Joint Council on Food Labeling which is an advisory council under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. The criteria include:

a) The processed foods in question are not heavily processed, in other words, are close to fresh foods;

b) The quality of ingredient depends on place of origin, which differentiates the product.; and

c) Ingredients are procured from different sources, including overseas.

3. Other labeling requirements
Individual Quality Labeling Standards are provided for some processed foods, which contain detailed and additional labeling requirements.


For the background for the recent revision of January 2008 concerning the wider application of the Quality Labeling Standard for Processed Foods, please refer to
Review of JAS.