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Volume 12, Number 4 - April 2011

Happy April Fool's Day from Food Label News. Whether it's allergen labeling (in the U.S.) or labelling (in Canada), it’s no joke that new Canadian regulations are upon us. We profile the similarities and differences between the U.S. and Canada in the feature article below. Also, read about a bakery's unique challenges and the resulting savings in this month’s case study. Next month, we’ll bring you up-to-date on FDA action regarding restaurant menu labeling.

In this issue you'll find:

Karen C. Duester, President


"Thank you for clearing this up! You certainly provide the fastest and clearest responses we have had in our labelling dealings with the U.S.!"

– Paula Durham, 
Concept Product Development



New Allergen Labelling Rules for Canada

FDA has required "Big 8" allergen labeling for packaged foods sold in the U.S. since January 1, 2006. Until recently, allergen labelling guidelines from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency were voluntary for foods sold in Canada. As of August 4, 2012, compliance with new Canadian regulations becomes mandatory.

Canada's new allergen labelling regulations expand beyond U.S. requirements to target not only food allergies, but also celiac disease and sulfite sensitivity. To view a chart comparing the U.S. and new Canadian requirements click here.

In Canada, like the U.S., allergens (and gluten sources, sulfites) must now be plainly named in either the ingredient statement or in a separate "Contains" statement. When declared within the ingredient statement, brackets may be used following the ingredient name if the consumer may not know the ingredient is derived from an allergen (or gluten source, sulfite); for example: sodium caseinate [milk]. When a "Contains" statement is used, it is not necessary to also include the common name of the allergen in brackets in the ingredient statement.

Precautionary statements are still under review by Health Canada, but if used, are advised to begin with either "may contain" or "not suitable for consumption by persons with an allergy to" preceding the allergen's common name.

More information about Canada’s requirements

More information about U.S. allergen labeling

  Keeping You Current

2nd Genesis Training
scheduled with IFT:
registration now open

National Organic Standards
to meet in April

Codex Committee on Food Labeling: meeting agenda

Canada's definition for
Dietary Fibre
under review

Join Food Label Community
for a discussion of the news

From the Archive

"Americanizing" Foreign Packaging: A Case Study

All regulated allergens (and gluten sources, sulfites) in a product must be treated consistently with regard to inclusion in either the ingredient statement or the "Contains" statement. That is, if the "Contains" statement is used, then all covered allergens (and gluten sources, sulfites) must be included in the "Contains" statement. This is true for both the U.S. and Canada.

Certified Organic Bakery Sprouts Savings: A Case Study

Marketing a food product with a unique ingredient poses significant challenges as getting accurate nutrition information can be a costly and labor-intensive process. Find out how a leading supplier of certified organic products streamlined their operations which not only saved time and money but also improved their customer service in this case study.

Reader Q&A

Find answers to our readers' questions or send us your question for an upcoming issue.


Is there a U.S. labeling regulation that establishes the allowable variance for the analyzed value vs. what is printed on the label? If so, what is the specific regulation?
L.J., Georgia, Established Food Company


Yes, FDA regulations published at 21CFR101.9(g) specify two classes of nutrients; the allowable variance is different for each. Regardless of the class, the analyzed value is derived from a composite sample of twelve consumer units, with one unit coming from each of twelve different randomly chosen shipper cases. Read more.

At Your Service

Food Consulting Company, founded in 1993, provides nutrition analysis, food labeling and regulatory support to ensure 100% compliance with FDA regulations. With well over 1,000 clients worldwide, we’re pleased to provide information to address your food labeling needs.

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