Food labelling requirements in Australia for your business

4 Minute Read

The easiest method to create them for your ready-made meals

What is food labelling and why is it important?

Food labels are required by law to ensure consumers are informed about all the nutrition qualities of food, especially allergens or high sugar contents. Food labels are also helpful in providing a place to convey storage instructions. For ready-made meals, a food label is the best place to leave preparation instructions for your customer so they can enjoy their delicious meal in the way that you intended!

The Australian Food Standards Code is the legislation that regulates the labelling requirements for packaged foods. The Code requires, among other things, that all pre-packaged foods have labels which are easy to read, contain accurate information about the ingredients used in manufacturing the food, list any known allergens contained in the food, include country of origin information on foods (where this is important) and show nutritional information for certain types of foods.

It is best practice as a ready-made meals cook to have food labels on each and every meal you sell. It’s worth the time and effort because best of all, food labels make your meals look beautifully professional.

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What are the current food labelling requirements in Australia?

Australian food labelling laws have changed in recent years to provide better information about the food products that are being sold in Australia. These changes apply most specifically to pre-packaged food manufacturers and providers, so companies who make the kind of food you find on shelves in the supermarket. It’s really important for these sorts of companies to follow Australian food labelling requirements. 

Current food labelling requirements in Australia for pre-packaged food manufacturers include:

  • Mandatory inclusion of a country of origin statement for all fresh meat, fresh produce and packaged water;
  • Mandatory inclusion of an ingredients list on pre-packaged foods;
  • Mandatory inclusion of a best before date for packaged foods;
  • Requirement for dairy information to be included on labels; and
  • Mandatory declaration that “no artificial colours” or “no preservatives” has been used in any pre-packed products.

For businesses selling ready-made meals like the cooks on Cookaborough, these recommendations do not currently apply to food labels. However, while requirements are less compared to food manufacturers, we strongly encourage and recommend cooks to use food labels, and include at least:

  • Ingredients list
  • Allergens identification
  • Name of Business

It’s also great to include the name of your menu item too! Having your ingredients listed, plus other useful information is a great way to build trust with your customer and encourage them to come back and order again.

If you are wanting to go the extra mile, you can choose to include other information similar to the pre-packaged food manufacturer's requirements, such as a best before date, best freeze by date, serving instructions and declaring ‘no artificial colours’ or ‘no preservatives’ included in your meals. 

By having the above-listed minimum information on your food labels you can be confident that your customers will be happy with their order and receive scrumptious food that they can trust!

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The best and most affordable way to create pre-made meal labels

‍Cookaborough custom food label creator

One of the fan-favourite features of the Cookaborough platform is - you guessed it - a custom food label creator! This food label creator has been made with ready-made meals businesses in mind and is a wonderful time-saver.

The Cookaborough Meal Label Creator allows you to generate food labels that are compliant, branded with your business logo and include the optional addition of all of the following:

  • Nutrition panel option.
  • Batch numbers can be displayed if required.
  • Space provided for storage and serving suggestions.
  • Identification of use by & freeze by dates.
  • Ability to add a filled ‘Made with love for’ and space for customer name

Best of all, we have created our food labels in three different sizes (small, medium and large) so that you have it all ready and pre-set for easy printing. Your label changes while you type your information in real time, so if you need to adjust an ingredient or change the name of your dish you can do so immediately! All of our cooks have highlighted this as one of their favourite features because it is just so easy to use. 

How else does Cookaborough help you with your ready-made meals business?

Cookaborough doesn’t stop there when it comes to making everything easy for your ready-made meals business. We help to streamline and automate a few pesky admin processes such as:

Recipe Storage

Enjoy secure recipe storage for your ready-made meals. Have a meal that your customers keep asking for on repeat? Input the details once and you are good to go. Entering your recipe information is the key to many of the other Cookaborough features including the ability to immediately generate your food labels (labels are created from your recipes based on the ingredients and amount per ingredient). 

Recipe Cards

Generate your own personal cookbook full of your delicious recipes so you can recreate your dish perfectly every time, no matter who is cooking in your kitchen! 

Menu Builder

This feature allows you to be your best creative self with dishes whilst not needing to worry about wastage and the risk of creating meals that no one ends up ordering. This feature provides the ability to build out your regular ready-made meal menu and publish it for customers to see and select what they would like.

The batch business model for your food business

As Cookaborough uses the Clever Batch business model, you don't need to worry about guessing demand. With batch, you create what customers have ordered (create supply according to the demand without having to guess!). This allows you to minimise food wastage, and plan your resources accordingly. Every week your menu can be new dishes, dishes on rotation, or regular dishes that you know are crowd-pleasers. 

These are just a few features of many that Cookaborough offers to food businesses. 

The Cookaborough platform has been created for the cook - making admin and difficult business functions easy with one simple click… the sign up button! 


Want to see how the Cookaborough platform can help transform your business? Enquire with us below:



The only platform developed specifically for food businesses to start, run and grow their Ready-made meals business.

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