Label reviews help new producers avoid costly reprinting of incorrect labels and lessens the possibility that regulatory agencies in other jurisdictions will take mislabeled product "off sale" for labeling violations or omissions.
All packaged food products must comply with FDA regulations with complete and correct label information. This includes the common or usual name of the product; name and address of the producer, manufacturer, or distributor; a net quantity statement; and an ingredient statement (unless it is a single ingredient product) with applicable allergen declarations, and, unless exempt, a nutrition facts label.
The food label review is to help manufacturers, producers, and distributors understand and comply with labeling laws and rules thus ensuring products offered for sale in the will be completely and correctly labeled. There are three main purposes for the food label review program:
1. To assist manufacturers in correctly designing food labels and assure they comply with FDA rules and regulations.
NutriData reviews food product labeling for compliance with the regulations mandated under the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). With the passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) of 1990, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new rules and regulations which completely overhauled the science of designing labels, especially the use, format, and design of the Nutrition statement. The purpose of this program is to assist manufacturers to understand state and federal label requirements and to assist them in designing labels that will comply with those requirements. This is a label "review" process, not an "approval" process.
2. To protect consumers (particularly with food allergies) and provide a basis for informed buying decisions
All packaged food items are required to be labeled with the following information 1) An appropriately descriptive name of the food. 2) A net quantity statement telling the customer how much product is being offered for the price charged. 3) A complete list of all ingredients in the product. 4) The name and address of the manufacturer, producer, or distributor. 5) A Nutrition Facts statement (unless the food qualifies for an exemption from this portion of the label.
The ingredient information is particularly crucial to consumers with food allergies and/or sensitivities or other dietary restrictions. Reports of allergic reactions to incompletely or incorrectly labeled foods continue to increase. The U S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiates food product recalls when foods are discovered to contain unlabeled ingredients which are known allergens.
3. To prevent misbranding or misrepresentation
This helps protect both consumers and manufacturers. Compliance officers routinely perform inspections and collect labels they suspect are fraudulent and/or misrepresentative and bring them in for review. The label review program helps assure that consumers get complete and accurate information in a uniform format on all food products. Correct and complete food labels help to protect consumers and contribute to a safe and healthful food source for all of us.
How the Food Labeling Review Process Works
All food products that are packaged in advance of sale must be completely and correctly labeled before being offered for sale. The information required on labels includes:
NutriData reviews food labels for compliance to these rules and regulations. Manufacturers/producers should make a sketch of their labels and send them in to be reviewed before having them printed.
Labels are reviewed for compliance and any incorrect/incomplete labels are identified with corrections in a detailed report.. References with labeling guidelines are emailed along with the labeling compliance report.
Labels may be resubmitted and reviewed, with any remaining discrepancies noted. Most label reviews are written, e-mailed, faxed, or mailed to the producer or manufacturer with a copy kept in the file. Labels needing little correction may be discussed over the phone with the person submitting the labels.
For additional information and current FDA recalls, refer to the following links:
Federal Government Agency Product Recalls