Selling packed food products around the country? Well, one of the important criteria is to ensure that the packed food products include the label. The Food and Drugs Act (FDA) requires that packed food products are labelled so that customers know what they are consuming. It is also a critical method for distributors to comprehend what they are selling. Failure to do so can get your business into trouble with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
According to the FDA and Canadian Food Inspection Agency, there are certain elements that your food label should include.
This first post on Food labelling will provide details on the most important elements that you cannot miss out.
Items that Require Food Labels
Which foods require food labels? Any food that is packaged before it’s sold is known as prepackaged products. All prepackaged food products are required to have labels. There are two exceptions to this rule:
- One-bite confectioneries such as candy or a stick chewing gum that is sold individually
- Fresh fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic or a confining band
Such food items are not required to have food labels.
The mandatory information mentioned on the food label must be printed in Canada’s two official languages – French and English. However, there is one exception to this. The identity and location of the principal business where the prepackaged product was manufactured, processed, produced or packaged for resale can be either in French or English.
If you are selling your food product in Quebec, it is subjected to additional language requirements.
The label must contain the common name of the product. Apart from the usual branding printed on the label, its common or generally known names must be mentioned.
For example, ‘milk chocolate’ or ‘orange juice from concentrate’. The Food and Drug Regulation has a list of common names that you should take a look at.
The common name must be mentioned on the principal (main) food display label.
Abbreviations should not be used if they can lead to deceptions. It is advised that abbreviations be avoided to prevent confusion among consumers. Abbreviations are only recommended if it is undisputed that the abbreviation does not have any other meaning apart from the one intended.
All prepackaged food products must have the net quantity printed on the food labels. However, there are several exceptions:
- Prepackaged food prepared and sold in automatic food vending machines
- Prepackaged food served along with a meal or a snack; served by a restaurant or airline
- Products known as catch weight products. However, catch weight products must have the net weight mentioned by the retailer.
Name and Address
The business that is responsible for the packaging of the product should be written. The key word here is responsible. Another party may be hired to pack the product, but may not be responsible.
The name and address of the business must be mentioned. It cannot be printed at the bottom of a prepackaged food container.
There are several more elements that your food label should contain, we will cover the remaining ones in the next blog post.