The company I work for (40,000 employees) has vending machines throughout the buildings which are filled by the internal catering team.

Now I have noticed many of the separately packaged foodstuffs in the machines clearly have notes on them indication they are not to be sold separately.

Before I approach anyone about it, I wanted some advice:

  1. Are these notes legally enforceable?
  2. What are the normal consequences for breaking these rules?
  • 1
    Jurisdiction? Usually that note means that the individual packs don't have the nutritional and ingredient labels. – mkennedy Jul 20 '17 at 17:17
  • 1
    These notes may be legally enforceable, but not by you. – gnasher729 Jul 20 '17 at 18:44
  • @gnasher729 Not by me, of course, but I wanted to figure out whether it was worth bringing to the attention of upper management or whether I was concerned about nothing. – Weckar E. Jul 21 '17 at 0:43

Typically, these notices are required where the individual packaging lacks the statutory nutritional and warning labels. If this is the reason for the prohibition, selling them separately is a breach of public health law. It may also be a breach of contract with the vendor of the collective pack.

Breaking them up and placing them in vending machines, even if those are not accessible to the public is probably unlawful.

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  • 1
    I wouldn't say it's inherently unlawful on its own. The label itself means nothing whatsoever. I've seen the label on items that do have all the nutritional information on them, but just don't have a barcode on them for easy scanning in a convenient way. But you don't need a barcode in a vending machine. They are also sometimes used to warn consumers that the item was a part of a bulk item and they may be missing some of the contents. I can think of several items I regularly consume that have these notices but still contain all the information legally required (e.g. cereal bars). – animuson Jul 21 '17 at 4:45

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