FDA issues guidance on new nutrition labelling

The Food and Drug Administration has issued additional information to help manufacturers of packaged foods comply with the latest regulations on Nutrition Facts labelling in the US.

The guidance gives information about serving sizes, including single-serving foods that could reasonably be consumed in one meal or snack and require dual column labeling. Products that fall under that category have separate labels listing the nutrition facts for a single serving and nutrition facts for the contents of the entire package.

The FDA hopes its latest information will help clear up confusion.

“In the guidance we issued today, we are helping answer some of the questions most commonly asked by industry about dual column label and serving size issues, including when dual column labeling is required, the definition of a single-serving container, how to determine the number of servings in a food product, and how these labels should be formatted for some products that have limited space for nutrition labeling,” said Claudine Kavanaugh, director of the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling in the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

“The new Nutrition Facts Label has updated serving sizes for many foods. We know that Americans are eating differently, and the amount of calories and nutrients on the label is required to reflect what people actually eat and drink — not a recommendation of what to eat or drink. The new label, including this dual column layout, will drive consumers’ attention to the calories and per cent daily value of nutrients that they are actually consuming.”

Manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales were required to comply with the updated Nutrition Facts Label regulations as of 1 January 2020, while manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have until 1 January 2021. During the first six months following the January 1 2020 compliance date, the FDA said it will not take enforcement actions regarding these requirements during that time.

The FDA also intends to exercise enforcement discretion to give manufacturers of single-ingredient sugars such as honey and maple syrup, and certain cranberry products, until 1 July 2021 to comply.

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