Standards Act


Labels Must Give Country of Origin

The law says that every container of processed food offered for sale in Jamaica must state the country where the food was packed. Any seller who offers processed food for sale in containers which breach the law will be fined and, in default of payment, may be imprisoned.

Labels Must List Ingredients

Every label on any container of processed food offered for sale must state all the ingredients used in its preparation in descending order of quantity. Some ingredients may be grouped together e.g. "approved spices". These spices must be approved by the Bureau of Standards.

Labels Must Explain Handling of Special Products

Every label on any container of processed food which requires a special method of storage, handling or preparation must give the consumer instructions on these. The consumer needs to know these things in order to make best use of the product and may often save money by doing the right thing.

Labels Must State the Truth

It is an offence under the Standards Act for the label on any processed food to contain information which is false, misleading or deceptive. This includes misinformation on contents, value, quantity, weight and date of packing. Such an offence is punishable by a fine and, on nonpayment, imprisonment.

Labels Must List Certain Information

Labels on processed foods must provide information on the part of the label most likely to be displayed in the shop or store. The information must include:

  • Product name
  • Brand name
  • Date when quality of content is no longer assured
  • Net contents
  • Special instructions

The label must not misinform.

A consumer may complain to the Consumer Affairs Commission about loss or injury arising from false or misleading representation about the quantity or quality of any product. The Commission will start investigations into these complaints and if necessary, pass them to the Bureau of Standards for further action.

Labels Must State Companies Involved in Processing of Food

Every container of processed food must have a label which states the name and business address of the processor, manufacturer, packer, importer or distributor. Items which are packaged in the presence of the consumer are exempted.

Labels on Processed Food Must be in English

All containers of processed food offered for sale to the consumer in this jurisdictio must be labelled in the English language. A seller who offers for sale processed food in breach of the above can be fined and, in default of payment, may be imprisoned. Consumers are asked to be vigilant. 

Provided by Ministry of Justice