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Food Standards Scotland launches #lookatthelabel campaign

5 November 2015  •  Author(s): Victoria White

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has launched an awareness-raising campaign encouraging consumers to spend longer looking at food labelling. 


In response to discussions with consumers who said they tend to fall back on the ‘sight and smell test’ as a means of telling if food is safe to eat, FSS has launched the #lookatthelabel campaign.

Some of the country’s biggest supermarkets are supporting the #lookatthelabel campaign, which encourages people to make safer, healthier and more informed choices when buying food and drink.

#Lookatthelabel aims to increase understanding of the importance of ‘use by’ dates, colour-coded nutrition labelling, storage advice and allergens information. Fewer than one-third of adults (28%) report that they always check the nutrition content of food. The Front of Pack colour-coded labelling, which has been adopted by the majority of the UK’s major food retailers, provides nutritional information to help consumers make healthier choices.

Only a fifth of Scots use packaging to find out information about food safety

With only one-fifth (22%) of Scots using product packaging for finding out information about food safety, and a third (32%) having experienced food poisoning, understanding the information on food labels is, according to Geoff Ogle, Chief Executive of Food Standards Scotland, one important way consumers can reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Mr Ogle added: “Food is important to all of us and perhaps not something we think too much about when buying it so we want to highlight the potential risks to consumer health, and that is why we are launching this innovative campaign, using blindfold imagery, which will hopefully inspire consumers to take a closer look at the label.”

“The #lookatthelabel campaign asks consumers to take a few extra seconds to look at food labels beyond the price, and spend a bit more time looking at what the information on labels is telling you.”

From a food safety angle, FSS are encouraging consumers to pay attention to date labelling, content, storage and handling information. This is even more important for more vulnerable groups such as older people, children, pregnant women and people with allergies.

The one-month long awareness-raising drive will include press, radio, digital, poster and trolley advertising, social media activity and PR.

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