Food Label News, Government Actions for Food Labels, FDA Regulations, Food Labels, Nutrition Labels
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Volume 7, Number 10 - October 2006


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Following delivery of September's Food Label News, Mary Brandt, Food Label News subscriber and FDA official, let us know that FDA published a correction to the final rule for the Voluntary Nutrition Labeling of Raw Fruits, Vegetables and Fish. Food Label News did not announce the correction. Food labelers should be aware that in Appendices C and D, which provide the tables of nutrition labeling values, the unit of measure for total carbohydrate was corrected to show grams (and not mg). The corrections are in the August 17, 2006, Federal Register.

Q.  If my product does not contain significant amounts of one or more of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron, can I report other vitamins/minerals in this space?  S.D., Food Labeler, Nebraska


A.  Yes, labelers can voluntarily list other vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in a food and for which a Reference Daily Intake (RDI) or Daily Reference Value (DRV) has been established, regardless if the four required vitamins/minerals (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron), are or are not listed in the table of nutrient values. See Reader Q&A Page for additional details.


Submit a question for Reader Q&A.  Selected questions will be answered at no charge. For speedy answers to regulatory questions, see Services.

Groundwork for Revised Nutrition Labels Values Complete

On September 15, 2006, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies announced availability of the reference volume, "Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Reference for Dietary Planning and Assessment." This 543-page book is a summary report of eight exhaustive volumes of dietary reference intakes (DRIs) that have been issued since 1998. DRIs are quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets for healthy individuals in the United States and Canada; they were formerly known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs).

The current % Daily Value (%DV) components of the Nutrition Facts on food labels are reference numbers that are based on the former RDAs. FDA intends to consider revision of Daily Values based on the DRIs but has not announced a timeline for this.

See Institute of Medicine announcement.

FDA's Food Labels Allergen Report Released

A copy of a report titled "Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 Public Law 108-282: Report to The Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions United States Senate And The Committee on Energy and Commerce United States House of Representatives" is available in PDF format, currently at the CFSAN "What's New" web page or directly.

The report is dated July 2006, and fulfills a requirement in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) that the Secretary of Health and Human Services submit a report to the Senate and House committees on food allergen issues. The report addresses:

  • Occurrence of cross-contact and use of current good manufacturing processes (CGMP)

  • Use of advisory labeling by food producers

  • Consumer preferences for food allergen labeling

  • FDA's food allergen focused inspections

  • Allergen recalls

  • Current efforts to control cross-contact

Commentary: How to label products that may have had cross-contact with food allergens at some time during processing or packaging is one of the most frequently asked questions to Food Consulting Company. The report above does not answer this but does shed light on consumer preferences for this type of labeling. Labelers with outstanding questions regarding the labeling of possible cross-contamination can request regulatory support or learn more with Food Consulting Company's 2006 Q&A page or summary article.

More on Nutrition Labels for Restaurants

A September 26, 2006, news release from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announces a proposal to require restaurants that make calorie information for standard menu items publicly available on or after March 1, 2007, to post the information on menus and menu boards, where consumers can see it before ordering. The Health Department estimates that the proposal would affect about one in 10 restaurants. The Department is seeking public comment.

Read press release

Commentary: Nutrition labeling of restaurant foods is not required by FDA at this time unless a nutrition claim is made about a menu item. However many restaurants choose to voluntarily provide nutrition information. Food Consulting Company helps restaurants provide all types of nutrition and allergen information to meet customer demands, including calories and fat per serving for individual items and meal combinations. For more information

For background on FDA and other activity related to restaurant nutrition labeling see the Food Label News archive, January 2004, May 2004, May 2005, July 2005, July 2006.

Service Tip: Keep Your Products Fresh
Food Consulting Company offers a service that can help assure your product is fresh for product patrons. Order Shelf Life Evaluation and learn how long your product will stay fresh on the shelf. Voluntary inclusion of a freshness date on labels encourages retailers to rotate products and lets consumers know when the time is up for highest product quality.


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