Frank the farmer milks his cattle and bottles the milk directly from the udders with no pre treating or processing involved. He then brings these bottles of fresh milk to various farmers' markets where he sells them directly to consumers. Do normal food product labelling requirements as apparently govern other packaged foods sold in grocery stores bind Frank, or can the bottles bear a label simply of “Frank’s fresh milk (1 litre)”?

What about Abdul the fruit seller who sells imported fruits and vegetables unpackaged that hail from all over the world? Are these bound by any different consumer information laws than is Frank’s milk?

  • 1
    those are two very distinct questions.
    – Trish
    May 21 at 21:16
  • 1
    Or you might consider it to be one question about labeling food products, with two examples given. It just depends on how you look at it. Would the site benefit from having this split into two virtually identical questions, one about milk the other about fruit? May 22 at 0:49

2 Answers 2


For raw drinking milk (RDM), read the government's Raw Drinking Milk Guidance. In England and Wales, Frank's raw milk containers must be labelled with the words "raw milk". They must also carry this warning:

This milk has not been heat-treated and may therefore contain organisms harmful to health.

In Wales the container or the point of sale must also display the following:

The Food Standards Agency strongly advises that it should not be consumed by children, pregnant women, older people or those who are unwell or have chronic illness.

Abdul's loose produce must be displayed with labels depending on whether the produce falls under the Specific Marketing Standard (SMS) or General Marketing Standard (GMS) or neither. Read the guidance on Fresh fruit and vegetable marketing standards.

For loose produce to which the SMS applies, the label must show:

  • the country of origin in full (do not use abbreviations or flags)
  • quality class
  • variety or type (if required)

For loose produce to which the GMS applies, the label must only show the country of origin.

The above labelling requirements do not apply to loose produce to which neither the SMR nor GMS apply (e.g. coconuts).


Frank is breaking the law

But not about nutrition labelling; both Frank and Abdul are fine because neither product is “prepackaged” as defined in the Regulation and only prepackaged foods need a nutritional label.

Frank’s problem is that he is selling raw milk and there must be a sign saying “Milk supplied in this establishment has not been heat-treated and may therefore contain organisms harmful to health”.

  • 3
    How do we know that he doesn't comply with that requirement? Is the requirement to give notice stated in terms of the container?
    – user6726
    May 21 at 23:24
  • Why do the no longer relevant comments tagging me persist here? May 23 at 21:23

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