Confusion reigned on day one of the new food nutrition labelling law yesterday, with some retailers unsure if their products fell under the new regime and others unaware of the changes. Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene Cheuk Wing-hing said early teething problems were expected and officials would help the industry adapt. Cheuk said the department had done its best to ensure compliance with the new law, including reaching out to shops selling traditional food or products to ethnic minorities. 'Compliance is very high for major supermarket chains,' he said. 'If retailer or suppliers have difficulties with any foods, they can come to us. We are ready to help them and give them information about the new law. The new nutrition labelling law is a milestone for Hong Kong.' The new law requires packaged food sold by retailers and wholesalers to carry the 1+7 (energy plus seven core elements) label. Food products must also comply with required standards before making nutritional claims such as 'low in sugar' or 'no trans-fats'. In Peel Street, Sheung Wan, an elderly stall owner who has sold homemade pickled food for a decade thought the salted lemon she sells in plastic bottles did not need new labels despite the fact that the products are considered to be 'prepackaged' under the government's definition. In nearby Gage Street, grocer Joey Ho had no idea that the law came into effect yesterday. He was shocked when a South China Morning Post reporter told him retailers were now responsible for nutritional labelling. 'I would have urged the distributors to do something if I knew about it sooner. It'd be much better if the government handed us leaflets describing the new policy,' he said. Some pickled vegetables and a preserved egg in vacuum packaging in his shop were not labelled properly. 'The egg is from Vietnam,' he said. 'I don't know what I can do with its label.' At the Lin Heung Tea House, a traditional Chinese restaurant, rice crackers and almond biscuits were not labelled with the 1+7 information yesterday, nor did they bear exemption labels. Any food item with annual sales of fewer than 30,000 qualifies for an exemption from the labelling policy. But vendors must apply for this and place exemption stickers on their products. Lin Heung staff said their biscuits qualified for an exemption but they were unaware stickers were necessary. Equally confused were some supermarket shoppers. Lee Kam-tong, 62, with his wife in a Central supermarket yesterday, picked up a package of seasoning. Mrs Lee said she could barely read the small-print nutritional label. The couple said they would go for products with low fat, but didn't know what the limit for 'low fat' was.