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FSAI Publishes New Guidance Note On Use Of 'Butter' In Labelling Of Fat Spreads

By Steve Wynne-Jones
FSAI Publishes New Guidance Note On Use Of 'Butter' In Labelling Of Fat Spreads

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published a new guidance note on the use of the word 'butter' in the labelling and marketing of fat spreads.

The aim of the guidance document is to ensure that businesses are not misleading consumers and that products labelled as 'butter' meet specific requirements. It comes after the FSAI received a complaint that indicated some fat spreads were using the term ‘butter’ in marketing when it was not appropriate.

Dr Pat O’Mahony, FSAI’s Chief Specialist in Food Technology, stated that, “the legal onus is on food businesses to ensure that they are compliant with all relevant legislation so that consumers can have trust in the product they are purchasing and make informed choices using reliable information.”

Dr O’Mahony defined butter as “a churned-cream dairy product consisting primarily of milk fat, water, non-fat milk material and if necessary, salt”.

The guidance document, available at,  notes that the use of any labels or advertising that could mislead customers is prohibited by legislation in place since 2011, so businesses need to be careful when using 'butter'-derived terms such as 'buttery' and 'butterly'.


“It is natural that marketing specialists will use every means at their disposal to gain a competitive edge over their rivals, but this must not be achieved at the expense of consumers’ trust,” added Dr O’Mahony.

© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Brian Dermody.