Do you wish for customers of all ages to become aware of your brand? Then, give away promotional confectionery like chocolates, jelly beans, or lollies with your logo or message printed on them! Easy as pie, right? Or not? Some of you may be hesitant to give away personalised lollies out of concern for people's health, and we totally get that. Because of this, we decided to write this post in the hopes that it will put your mind at ease by telling you what you need to know about food safety in confectionery.
Food Safety Standards in Australia
Labelling and storage regulations for food products in Australia are set by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code), and the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Regulations 1994. The organisation responsible for administering food regulations in Australia and New Zealand is called Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). In what ways do they regulate the distribution of confectionery?
Do Confectionery Products Pose a Food Safety Risk?
First, let's check to see if it is safe to give away branded confectionery. In the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, confectionery is considered a 'ready-to-eat food,' which may or may not be potentially hazardous. And guess what? Confectionery is not potentially hazardous because according to the Food Standards Code:
"These foods are low risk because they do not support the growth of pathogenic microorganisms or toxin formation.
This makes lollies and other sweets one of the safest promotional foods to hand out as freebies or gifts. Here is the whole list of food categories that are not thought to be potentially hazardous under the Food Standards Code:
*biscuits and crackers
*raw whole fruit and vegetables
*bottled pasta sauces
*honey and jam
*sauces — asian/soy, ketchup style
*nuts in the shell
*salted dried meats
*unopened canned foods
*fermented dried meats
*plain breads and bread rolls
Even though sweets are classified as not potentially hazardous food, the Food Standards Code laid out guidelines on how to package and label them.
Australian Food Laws for Confectionery
As the Food Standards Code mandates, when it comes to candies and other confectionery products, it is better to package them because unpackaged ready-to-eat foods have a greater chance of becoming contaminated than those that are not. If not correctly packaged, ready-to-eat foods like sweets can thus become potentially hazardous.
Regarding food packaging, the Food Standards Code specifies the following requirements:
The material used in the packaging is suitable for contact with food.
Only use the material for packaging that does not risk contaminating the food.
Ensure there's no way for food to get contaminated when being packaged.
How about recycled packaging materials? It is acceptable for you to use recycled materials as the packaging for your promotional lollies as long as the materials are safe for use in contact with food and will not contaminate the confectionery.
Of course, let us not forget about food labelling, which is related to the branding of a food product. According to the Food Standards Code, food labels and advertising claims must not intentionally mislead consumers. Therefore, the following key details need to be on a package's label:
Name of the food
Production 'lot' of the food
Name and business address
Mandatory warning statements
List of ingredients
Nutrition information panel
Directions for use and storage
The country of origin of the product and its ingredients
So as long as you comply with these food safety regulations, you won't have issues giving away personalised confectionery to the public. You should also perform due diligence before committing to a promotional lollies supplier to ensure they adhere to all applicable regulations.
David is a sales manager at Cubic Promote with over 13 years of experience in the promotional product industry. David is the resident expert on promotional pens, corporate gift packs, and promotional product distribution across multiple departments. Visit him on LinkedIn.