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Volume 12, Number 8 - August 2011

Hello from Food Label News. We celebrate summer picnics and BBQs with bite-sized, easily digestible chunks of food labeling news. This month we expose the bloopers of food labeling the common mistakes rookies make. We also summarize our case studies, popular with our readers. And now you can search for answers to your labeling and regulatory questions. Find what you need more easily on the site, including Reader Q&As and the newsletter archive. Happy Summer!

In this issue you'll find:


"Thank you again for your thoughtful responses and attention to detail throughout the process. It's been a pleasure to work with you!"

Michelle Green, 

Food Label Bloopers 5 Rookie Mistakes

Case Study Roundup

Reader Q&A: Farmers Markets and Internet

Helpful links to keep you current


Karen C. Duester, President

Food Label Bloopers 5 Rookie Mistakes

Its not news to food labelers that FDA has very specific requirements for each component of the food label for the products they regulate, including what must be present and what is not allowed. In our role as food labeling experts, we notice a variety of common mistakes. For regulators and consumers alike, these call into question the accuracy of every other element of the food label. Dont get caught with one of these rookie moves:

  1. Incorrect rounding on Nutrition Facts If you pick up a package of 244.1 calories, it's a dead giveaway.

  2. Incorrect formatting for Nutrition Facts You can't get creative here. Lines, bars, fonts, spacing and type styles come with tight specifications.

  3. Incorrect serving size on Nutrition Facts It's not an option to choose your serving size so that the resulting calories or fat look more attractive. You must follow FDA's "Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed."

  4. Ingredient statements that are too long Salt is salt is salt. A composite ingredient statement that adds all like ingredients is cleaner and more consumer-friendly.

  5. Listing a multi-component ingredient as a single ingredient Ketchup is created from multiple ingredients and each of these ingredients must be listed on the label. You can choose to group like ingredients together or use parentheses to declare sub-ingredients.

To keep you in the clear, make sure every element of your food label complies with FDA regulations. Weve prepared a one-pager to help you go from rookie to quick study.

Keeping You Current

Revised DVs for food labels: news report says FDA is hoping to publish proposed rule this year

GMO labeling: U.S. dropped opposition at Codex meeting

MyPlate Food Icon: 2000+ organizations serve as USDA's National Strategic Partners

USDA Proposed Rule to better label raw meat and poultry containing added solutions

Kids LiveWell: a new National Restaurant Association initiative; see criteria

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for a discussion of the news

From the Archive

Article on FDA Warning Letters citing food label violations

Claims can be the most tricky part of food label compliance. Words like healthy, low fat and high fiber cannot be used at will. These nutrient content claims are defined by regulations and can only be used when products have a specific nutrient profile. To access more information on this topic see Silliker Nutrient and Health Claims U.S. and Canadian Regulatory Guide developed as a collaboration between Silliker and Food Consulting Company.

Case Study Roundup

Food label regulations can be challenging for start-up companies and established multi-national retailers alike. Whether its launching a new brand, managing compliance across hundreds of vendors, marketing organic products or ensuring that products pass swiftly through customs, weve helped Food Consulting Company clients manage the nuances of food labeling regulations. Read about how five companies ensured regulatory compliance for their food labels.

Consistent Food Labels for National Retailer's Private Label Vendors Read about how a major retailer ensured regulatory compliance with food labels and packaging from hundreds of U.S. and foreign product suppliers.

Americanizing Foreign Packaging Learn about the challenges this food importer faced to ensure their products easily passed through U.S. Customs and FDA border inspections to be successfully marketed in the U.S.

Start-up Manufacturer Launches Novel Beverage Concept Understand how an early stage company outsourced its regulatory strategy and food label compliance, enabling them to stay focused on building, marketing and selling their new brand.

Certified Organic Bakery Sprouts Savings Find out how a leading supplier of certified organic products streamlined their operations with food labeling processes which not only saved time and money but also improved their customer service.

Ever-Changing Menus Stay Current and Compliant Learn about how a chain of casual bakery cafes with 60 locations ensured that their menus and product packaging were 100% compliant, despite state-by-state regulations and associated special considerations.

Reader Q&A

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


What label components must be on products that are only sold in farmers markets and on the Internet?
S.H., Arizona, Specialty Food Consultant


There are no special provisions for products sold at farmers markets or on the Internet. Regardless of the sales channel, all foods sold in the U.S. must be in full compliance with FDA food labeling requirements that are specified in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. 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, were pleased to provide information to address your food labeling needs.

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