Food Product Labelling for the USA

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Food product exporters face an array of regulations and requirements relating to food packaging and labelling which vary from market to market. In the USA the Food & Drug Administration, the FDA, regulates food product labelling.

The FDA’s regulations are similar in many ways to those in other countries but there are some very specific requirements that can catch out importers. Statements about the healthy properties of a food product which may be perfectly fine and reasonable in most countries around the world may not be allowed in the USA.

Claims of health benefits on the labels of products in the USA typically cause the product to be classified under the drug regulations which are much more onerous. Improperly-labelled products must not be imported to the USA, cannot be sold in the USA, and can get  stopped at the border by US Customs.

Fortunately the US authorities are open about the requirements. Regulations and guides to their interpretation are published online.

The FDA has a Food Labelling Guide on its website, also available as a PDF download. It includes information on manufacturer name and address requirements,  ingredients lists, nutrition labelling, and regulations governing health claims.

For those seeking expert advice, there’s a company that provides specific advice on food product labelling to meet US regulatory requirements, Registrar Corp.

 

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