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Sep 30, 2019

On August 20, 2019, in order to make consumers more easily to distinguish health foods from common foods and medicines, the State Administration for Market Regulation issued the announcement on Guide to Labelling Warnings for Health Foods, which will be implemented on January 1, 2020.

Guide to Labelling Warnings for Health Foods


Warning area and warning phrases shall be set on the label of health foods. The warning area shall be located on the main display layout of the smallest sales package (or container) and should occupy no less than 20% of the layout. Clear colour difference shall be presented between the text in the warning area and the background of the warning area. Warning phrases shall be printed in bold type and include the following:

Health foods are not medicines, are not a substitute for medicines to treat diseases.

When the surface area of the main display layout is more than or equal to 100 cm2, the font height of the warning phrases shall not be less than 6.0 mm. When the surface area of the main display layout is less than 100 cm2, the minimum font height shall be changed according to the abovementioned proportion.

2. Production date and shelf life

Health food shall be clearly labelled with the production date and shelf life at a clearly visible position outside the product's smallest sales package (or container). If the date is marked in the form of “see XX part of the package”, the specific part of the package should be accurately described.

2.1. The colour the labelled date shall be distinguished from the background colour, and be easy to identify, except for the one using laser etch. There shall be no paste-over, supplement, or amendment to the declared date.

2.2. For the multi-packaged health food, the production date of the product shall be the completion time of the inner packaging in direct contact with the food. 

2.3. When a single-packed food contains several food units, the production date and shelf life of each individual food shall be marked on the outer package. 

2.4. Dates shall be marked in the order of year, month, and day.

2.5. The shelf life shall be described by the means of “shelf life to XXXX (year) XX (month) XX (day)”.

3. Complaint hotline

Health foods shall be labelled with complaint hotline number and the service time. The font of ‘complaint hotline’ shall be the same as the font of "health function".

The health food production and operation enterprisers shall guarantee to receive and handle consumer complaints during the promised service time, and shall keep the record of relevant complaint issues for at least 2 years.

4. Consumption tips

Consumption tips of health foods shall be presented at an obvious place on the stores or online platform, etc. The food consumption tips template is as follows:    

Health food consumption tips

1. Health foods are foods, not medicines, not a substitute for medicines to treat diseases.

2. When buying health foods, please recognise the sign of health food (blue hat) on the product package and the approval number of the health food. Choose product according to its function and suitable population and consume the product following the guidance of labels and instructions. Health food registration information can be found on the website of the State Administration for Market Regulation.

3. Purchase health foods in regular shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies, etc., and ask for invoices or receipt.

4. If consumers have doubts about the quality and safety of the purchased health food, or find out that there are illegal propaganda and other illegal acts, please report it to the local Administration for Market Regulation in a timely manner, or call the complaint hotline: 12315.

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