www.foodsafetyselect.com - Food Safety Select
Posted 09/12/2022

Australia's Health Star Ratings system amendments finalised as implementation period ends

Australia's Health Star Ratings system amendments finalised as implementation period ends

In 2020, Australia's Health Star Ratings system was amended following a five-year review, which aimed at making it easier for customers to interpret Health Star Ratings (HSR) and pick healthier packaged goods. Manufacturers were given 2 years to implement the changes which recently concluded on 14 November.

What is the Health Star Rating?

The Health Star Rating (HSR) is a front-of-pack labelling system that assigns a rating from 1/2 to 5 stars to the overall nutrition profile of packaged foods. It allows consumers to compare similar packaged foods quickly and easily. Basically, the more stars there are, the better the option.

A reminder was issued to the food industry by Authorities, including the NSW Health Authority who outlined some of the key changes, including:

  • The acceptable HSR logo's energy-only icon has been discontinued,
  • There is new guidance for certain goods.
  • Total salt (sodium) and sugar will be punished more heavily, and
  • Dairy categories have been refined.

While it's voluntary for manufacturers to adopt the HSR, those who do are legally required to comply with the new amendments. However, for products with a shelf life of 12 months or more, a stock-in-trade provision of a further 12 months has been authorised.

What does this mean for manufacturers?

Manufacturers who have an HSR on your packaging must ensure they have:

  • Replaced the energy-only icon on products with a permitted HSR graphic.
  • Determined whether your products have changed categories.
  • Re-run products through the revised HSR calculator to see if existing HSR labels need to be updated.

For more information, visit healthstarrating.gov.au, or for information on how to categorise and calculate an HSR, access the Health Star Rating System Calculator and Style Guide.

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