The National Food Administration’s keyhole symbol is there to help consumers identify the healthier options when buying food or eating out. Foods labeled with the keyhole symbol are leaner and contain less sugars and salt and more fibre than food products of the same type not carrying the symbol. By choosing foods with the keyhole symbol it is easier for consumers to improve their diet, which can lead to better health now and in the future.
The keyhole is a voluntary label. Food producers are themselves responsible for ensuring that foods with the keyhole symbol conform to National Food Administration regulations.
Keyhole labelling in restaurants is also voluntary, but the restaurants need to go through a certification process to use the keyhole. The National Food Administration has established a new certification body aimed at assuring the quality of the restaurants. The non-profit organization “the KeyHole Restaurant Association” was established in January 2009. Founders in addition to the National Food Administration is the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (FHI) The Swedish Hotel and Restaurant Association (SHR), The Swedish Food Federation (Li), The Swedish Food Retail Federation (DLF), School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science Örebro University Campus Grythyttan and Culinary Arts and Food Sciences Kristianstad University.
The keyhole label was in June 2009 also introduced in Denmark and Norway. Iceland may join the scheme later but Finland already has a similar label, the ‘Heart’.The national authorities in the respective countries are responsible for the Keyhole, which is not only a Nordic labelling scheme, but can be used in all countries of the world provided they conform to the criteria for the label.