As we all know, the FDA holds very specific requirements for food labeling. Some rules are complex and even the most straight-forward ones can be easy to miss without a keen attention to detail. As food labeling and regulatory experts, we have an eye for spotting labeling errors and correcting them before they become an issue for our clients. Even a small error on a label can attract unwanted attention and draw scrutiny over other aspects of the label. Here are some common mistakes we see on labels:
Listing a multi-component ingredient as a single ingredient – If an ingredient is comprised of sub-ingredients, each of those sub-ingredients must also be listed on the label. For instance, chocolate chips must include the sub-ingredients of sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, etc.
Ingredient statements that are too long – Salt is salt is salt. It’s simpler and more consumer friendly to use a composite ingredient statement that adds all like-ingredients together.
Incorrect formatting for Nutrition Facts – Keep it simple! Lines, bars, fonts, spacing, and type styles within the Nutrition Facts label come with stringent specifications. It’s best to keep your creativity to other aspects of the label.
Incorrect serving sizes – While consumers may consider a food with fewer calories or less fat more appealing, serving sizes cannot be manipulated to influence nutrient values. Serving sizes must follow FDA’s “Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed.”
Incorrect rounding – Double check your work if you notice a food item with 63.5 calories.
By ensuring product labels are fully compliant, we not only satisfy FDA requirements but also keep consumers happy with accurate, easy-to-understand information. To achieve this, it’s important to stay vigilant, as complacency can quickly lead to labeling errors. Be sure to take a peek at our one-page reference guide to help steer clear of these common mistakes.
This blog was written by the Food Consulting Company. They provide nutrition analysis, food labeling and regulatory support for more than 1,500 clients worldwide. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.