BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Caterers are being encouraged to follow food labeling standards, according to Jermine Mike, Head of Standardization at The St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards (SKNBS).

“The purpose of having caterers label their items is solely to convey information to the consumer,” said Mike. “They do not have to follow the strict guidelines of pre-packaged food unless they are offering pre-packaged foods. “If they are catering [packaged foods], the name of the food and hypersensitivity/allergen information should be displayed where applicable.”

“If the caterer is providing the information on a menu, they only need to provide allergen information, said Mike. “They don’t need to provide further information on loose food. “However, they must follow the rules for pre-packed foods as any information they give voluntarily. For example, an ingredient list or a ‘use by’ date.”

As of November 2019, National Labelling Standards were adopted. These standards include Specification for Packaged Water; Requirements and Recommendations for Beach Operations; Environmental Management Systems; Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code; Labelling of Goods; Specific Requirements for Pre-Packaged Goods; Labelling of Pre-Packaged Food; and the General Labelling Requirements for Goods.

“Caterers should note that while the labelling standard for Pre-Packaged Food is voluntary, it is important to adopt and follow it, as it will soon become law,” said Mike.