Food of a kind used for human consumption is zero-rated for VAT. That is there is no tax on basic food. There is VAT on treats like confectionery, ice cream, crisps and most drinks (apart from tea, coffee, etc). The confusion sometimes arises on the borderline, trying to work out if something is food with a bit of treat or a treat with a bit of food, eg a biscuit with chocolate or chocolate with a biscuit. So despite occasional media about a supposed VAT mystery for food the basic rule for basic food is actually deceptively simple.
Tax Barrister, Accountant