Happy Nutritional Year. FDA Issues Final Label Guidance.

Posted by Denis Storey on January 2, 2020 at 5:05 PM

FDA food labelJust ahead of the new year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced new guidance to help packaged food makers comply with the latest Nutrition Facts label guidelines.

The guidance addresses topics related to the definition of a single-serving container, including reference amounts normally consumed that are used to delineate serving sizes; dual-column labeling, including formatting issues for products with limited space; and other issues, such as requirements concerning chewing gum labels and other multi-unit retail food packages.

According to analysis provided by the American Bakers Association, changes include:

  • Additional background regarding reference amounts typically consumed for non-juice beverages for infants and young children.

  • Clarity regarding whether the Nutrition Facts label for products sold in small packages must list all nutrients contained in insignificant amounts.

  • Modification of guidance regarding the placement of the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels to clarify that the label shouldn’t be placed on the bottom of packages (such as the bottom of boxes, cans, and bottles), unless they’re visible during normal retail display and consumer handling.

“The new Nutrition Facts label has updated serving sizes for many foods,” explained Dr. Claudine Kavanaugh, Director of the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling in the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “We know that Americans are eating differently, and the calories and nutrients on the label is required to reflect what people actually eat and drink—not a recommendation of what to eat or drink. The new label, including this dual column layout, will drive consumers' attention to the calories and Percent Daily Value of nutrients that they’re actually consuming.”

Manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales must comply with the updated food labeling regulations by Jan. 1, 2020. Meanwhile, manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales have an additional year to comply.

During the first six months of 2020, the FDA plans to work closely with manufacturers to meet the new Nutrition Facts label requirements and will forgo enforcement actions.

Finally, the FDA will relax enforcement of single-ingredient sugar makers, such as honey and maple syrup, and certain cranberry products, until July 1, 2021.

This is just the latest in a string of updates made to the new labeling regulations. TraceGains can help companies unpack all of these changes, including this latest guidance.

Join us for our upcoming webinar, “How To Demonstrate Compliance with FDA’s Labeling Requirements for Food and Supplements,” at 11 a.m., Jan. 13 with Elizabeth Salvo, Director of Regulatory Compliance and Consulting Services at ESHA Research, the makers of Genesis R&D® Product Development & Labeling Software. Elizabeth has more than 20 years of experience in intellectual property, advertising, nutrition data management, and labeling compliance, serving the food and supplement manufacturing industries as well as the quick service restaurants industry.

You can register right now here.