The health star rating system style guide and calculator - The basics

On 27 June 2014 the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) agreed to the implementation of an amended version of the front of pack Health Star Rating System (the HSR System), with the system’s website to be launched in August 2014. See our initial update on the HSR System here

Businesses which decide to implement the HSR System in relation to packaged food products should consult the Health Star Rating Style Guide (the Style Guide) and the Health Star Rating Calculator (Calculator) to determine the changes required to their front of pack labels. Businesses should also consider the costs savings of making changes to their front of pack labelling (and possibly the formulation of their foods) at the same time as implementing changes under Australian Food Standards Code Standard 1.2.7 (Nutrition, Health and Related Claims), which becomes mandatory in January 2016 (see our previous article in relation to Standard 1.2.7 here.

The Health Star Rating System

The HSR System involves the application of a graphic to the front of packaged food labels, which illustrates the energy and nutrient content and an overall health star rating for the food. The HSR System aims to provide convenient, relevant and readily understood information on food packs to assist consumers to make healthier eating choices.

The HSR System commenced on 27 June 2014 and remains voluntary for the first five years with a review scheduled to take place in June 2016. Compliance with the HSR System may become mandatory if the review in 2016 determines that voluntary implementation has been unsuccessful. The HSR System can be used in conjunction with the current Daily Intake Guide (DIG), health logos and certification schemes which are widely used in Australia to provide nutritional guidance to consumers. 

The HSR System is underpinned by two key documents which govern the way in which the HSR graphic is applied to packaged food labels – the Style Guide and the Calculator.

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The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.

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Frances Wheelahan

Partner. Melbourne
+61 3 9672 3380