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Volume 14, Number 12 - December 2014

Greetings from Food Label News. As 2014 draws to a close so too does our series on how you can get ready for the Proposed Label changes. Read the entire series or a particular part you've missed to ensure you're prepared. This month we also cover the important subject of allowable net weight variances in our Reader Q&A.

Wishing you abundance this holiday season and a peaceful new year ahead.

In this issue you'll find:


"I can heartily recommend Food Consulting Company. I have worked with them over the past 12 years or so and find them to be most helpful."

Dave Hill
Foodlabelcheck Ltd.

Label Changes are Coming: Be Prepared with
Part 4 of 4-part Series

What's News in the Food Label Community

Reader Q&A: Allowable Net Weight Variances


Karen C. Duester, President

Label Changes are Coming: Be
Prepared with Part 4 of 4-part Series

Americans are clearly eating more today than 20 years ago when the Nutrition, Labeling and Education Act took hold. Hence, FDA's proposed rules include changes related to serving sizes for Nutrition Facts labeling.

Reader Favorites

FDA Issues Proposed Rules for Changes to Nutrition Labels


The proposed rule for changes to serving size draw upon data from recent nationwide consumption surveys for food and beverage categories that document typical behaviors. The agency used these data when drafting new values for reference amounts customarily consumed (RACC) to mirror actual consumption patterns. Note that these FDA-established reference amounts are not recommendations for what people should be eating. Here is a snapshot of the changes:

About 27 of 158 categories are updated.

Increase in certain RACCs, such as carbonated and many non-carbonated beverages (from 240mL to 360 mL); ice cream (from cup to 1 cup); fish and game meat (from 55g to 85g); sugar (from 4g to 8g)

A few RACCs are reduced, such as yogurt (from 225g to 170g) and most candies (from 40g to 30g).

Some category descriptions are expanded to include more food items. For example, scones and crumpets added to the general bakery category (RACC =55g); crepes added to the category with french toast and pancakes (RACC unchanged from 110g prepared).

About 25 new categories are added.

Some food items are removed from category descriptions and become their own category. For example, bagels, toaster pastries and muffins are removed from the general bakery category (RACC =110g instead of the previous 55g).

New category examples, many at the request of industry groups, are appetizers and mini mixed dishes (RACC = 85g, 120g with gravy or sauce topping); seasoning oils (RACC = 1 tbsp); seasoning paste (RACC = 1 tsp); dried seaweed sheets (RACC = 3g); fresh or canned sprouts (RACC = cup); wrappers for egg roll, dumpling or potsticker (RACC = 20g).

These changes present many implications for food labelers. For example, nutrient content claims may no longer apply or a disclosure statement may be required. You may want to research the full set of regulations to understand how your product category will be affected. Another alternative is to consider a Proposed Rule Label Audit for a comprehensive assessment of your label claims, nutrient values, percent daily values, servings per container, and RACCs. Learn more.

What's News in the Food Label Community

FDA Final Menu Labeling: Restaurants, Vending Machines (5+ comments)

Product Name for Multi-Ingredient Foods (1+ comments and 6+ comments)

Declaration of Net Contents (8+ comments and 10+ comments)

Soy Lecithin Allergen Labeling (4+ comments)

Canada Nutrition Labeling: Serving Sizes (2+ comments)

Low Carbs Claim (3+ comments)

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Reader Q&A

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


In both U.S. and Canada, is there an acceptable upper limit variance for the declared net weight? For example, if your declared net weight is 100 grams, can your package contain 130 grams and still be compliant?  
P.M., California, Manufacturer 


In both countries, the allowable variance (both plus and minus) for the net quantity of contents statement depends on the declared weight or volume. For a package with a declared net weight of 100g, the allowable variance is +/- 7.2g for U.S. and +/- 4.5g for Canada. Read more.

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