New guidance for using the term ‘butter’ in fat spreads: FSAI

Butter is defined as a churned-cream dairy product consisting primarily of milk fat, water, non-fat milk material and if necessary, salt

Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) publishes new guidance note to ensure consumers are not misled by food marketing terms

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21 January 2016 | 0

New guidance on the use of the term ‘butter’ in the labelling and advertising of fat spreads has been published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today.

The advice aims to ensure that consumers are not misled and that when the term ‘butter’ is used, it complies with the specific and general legislation governing its use. The guidance document – available on www.fsai.ie – was developed after the FSAI received a complaint which indicated some fat spreads were using the term ‘butter’ in marketing materials when it was not appropriate.

According to Dr Pat O’Mahony, chief specialist in Food Technology, FSAI, butter is defined as a churned-cream dairy product consisting primarily of milk fat, water, non-fat milk material and if necessary, salt.

“In addition, it is made clear that general food labelling legislation in place since 2011, prohibits the use of any labels or advertising that could mislead consumers,” said Dr O’Mahony.  “This means that food businesses must carefully consider using the term ‘butter’ or derived terms such as ‘buttery’ or ‘butterly’ so that consumers are not misled in terms of the nature of the product on offer.

“It is natural that marketing specialists will use every means at their disposal to gain a competitive edge over their rivals, but this must not be achieved at the expense of consumers’ trust,” Dr O’Mahony added.

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