The food sector is governed by very strict regulations. As such, food label translations must contain certain elements and follow fixed formulas.

traduzione etichette alimentari

Translating food labels: why it matters

Exporting food products abroad is extremely profitable for the Italian economy. Italian food and drink products are well known, appreciated and consumed all over the world and represent true excellence in the gastronomic sector.

That being said, all countries have strict regulations in place on how to label food. These rules protect the health of citizens and encourage them to make conscious choices around the food they consume.

Products must therefore feature labels that comply with the law if they are to be sold abroad, i.e., they must comply with the regulations of the country in question.

For this reason, your food label translations for international markets must be 100% correct. Ensuring so will allow you to freely sell your products abroad without risking stoppages, requisitions, fines, or reputational and financial damage to your company.

Food labels and exports: what the legislation stipulates

One of the key aspects of EU legislation states that translated texts must be printed on packages in a clear and legible font.

Allergens must be highlighted (usually in bold) to make it easy for customers to identify ingredients that potentially pose a risk to their health.

You should also remember that the legal responsibility for food labels always lies with the company selling the product. As such, you need to be 100% sure that the translations you commission are high in quality.

Mistakes to avoid when translating food labels

Failing to comply with EU legislation on food labels can have serious consequences.

Sometimes linguistic errors do crop up in food label translations. Even if they are not punishable by law, they can still cause serious (financial or reputational) damage to companies, thus discouraging customers from potentially purchasing food products.

A typical linguistic error might involve incorrectly translating technical terms used in the food sector; i.e., terms that are key to attracting a certain clientèle that appreciates a quality product. A typical example is the refined and complex language used on wine labels. These labels tend to contain very sector-specific jargon, for which synonyms and alternatives should be avoided. Failing to entrust your translations to professionals who understand this sort of technical speak in the source language and can nail it in the target language is an easy mistake to make.

EuroTrad’s food sector translations are performed by professionals with expertise in the food and wine sector. Our translators can translate labels, brochures, menus, and all sorts of food-related texts. We can also oversee all areas of your company’s international marketing process, so why not request a free quote today?