While you’re stocking up on preserving equipment for this summer’s fruit season, don’t forget to add some jar labels to your basket. Adding a pretty label to your produce not only makes it look more professional, but avoids any mishaps when you forget what’s in a jar. If you are planning to sell any of your home made preserves, labelling is a legal requirement.
What you need to include on labels for jars
For commercial purposes, contact your local Trading Standards office to find out what their specific regulations are concerning labels for jars and bottles. Usually you will have to include the name of the product, e.g. ‘strawberry jam’, plus the weight in grams. Even if you know your produce was grown cleanly and greenly in your own garden, you cannot label it ‘organic’ unless you have been certified so officially.
You must also include any information relating to the irradiation or genetic modification of ingredients and note any additives used in production, such as colouring, antioxidants, preservatives, sweeteners or flavour enhancers. Remember that if you have bought ingredients containing any of these things, that will count on your ingredients list, so sulphur dioxide might have been used to preserve dried apricots, and you will need to include this in brackets on your ingredients list. You must also make sure the price of the jar is clearly stated.
Those are all legal requirements, but it is also recommended that you voluntarily include a note of allergens which may be in your preserve, a ‘best before’ date and any storage instructions. Providing your name and address is a good idea not only so that customers can let you know if they have a problem, but also so they can buy more of your delicious preserves!
Labels for jars just for friends
If you are just giving your preserves away you don’t need to worry about legal requirements, but everyone appreciates knowing that they are eating! An attractive label elevates your preserve to a special gift. You should include the name of the product, the date it was made and any storage instructions, but it’s also nice to include a personal message. Wares of Knutsford stocks a huge selection of self adhesive decorative labels, with designs including fruits and vegetables, graphic elements such as spots or stripes or funky, modern motifs such as a Union Jack or a royal crown. There are also labels specially designed for honey and chutneys.