It doesn’t matter whether you’re food comes from halfway across the world, or if it comes from a farm in Kansas, if you buy it at a US supermarket, it has FDA food labels on it. Or at least it should.
The FDA has strict food labeling requirements in place to ensure that the food that Americans are purchasing is safe for consumption. Consumers have a right to know what ingredients a product has. Especially since food allergies are so common.
As a consumer and as a food producer, food labeling requirements can be confusing. Our food labeling guide below simplifies all of the important information regarding the labels and nutrition guide required by the FDA. Read on below for everything you need to know.
What Information Is Required on Food Labels?
When you look at a food product, it might seem like the packaging is simple. But actually, there is a lot of information contained on the packaging. There are multiple different types of food and allergy labels on every product, to prevent negative reactions for those with common food allergies.
Various labels will provide information about the company behind the product, the type of food product it is, and the ingredients as well as allergens that it contains.
Front Panel Information
Most people only look at the front of a food package before they buy it. Even then, all they really read is the brand name. But there’s more information on every front panel.
Somewhere underneath the brand name, you’ll notice the common name, the food’s identity. For example, you might have a bag of Tostitos chips. The common name would be “tortilla chip” so that you know what type of product you are buying.
You should also see the Net Quantity of Contents, which describes how much of a specific product you are buying. And how many individual packages are inside?
The information panel contains various forms of information, such as the name of the company that produced the product, as well as the address of the facility. Oftentimes, it contains the information of the packager and distributor, if different from the manufacturer.
The nutrition information label is where you’ll find the list of ingredients. This is one of the most important aspects of food labeling, as it can inform consumers if a product is safe for them to eat, in case they have any food allergies.
It will also list GRAS, which is food that is generally regarded as safe. What is the GRAS list, so you can figure out what ingredients the FDA allows in food products? Click the link to learn more.
The nutrition information panel will also list your serving recommendations, calories, and specific nutrients found in the product. It also displays the amount of each nutrient compared with the recommended daily amount.
Putting the Food Labeling Guide to Use
As a consumer, this food labeling guide lets you know what you can expect to find on any package of food purchased in the US. As a manufacturer, whether a huge company or a small, local business. And you’ll need to know what is required of you when designing your packaging.
Looking for more information like this? Head over to our blog today to keep reading.