Food Label News, Government Actions for Food Labels, FDA Regulations, Food Labels, Nutrition Labels
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Volume 10, Number 9 - September 2009

IN THIS ISSUE:

About Food Consulting Company
 

" Everything was perfect, and your group is a dream to work with."

Joe Petrella
Famiglia-DeBartolo Famous Famiglia Pizza

Dear Readers,  Fortify your knowledge of label claims use; read Food Label Claims Helpful Series Launched. Read Food Label News each month to stay connected to Food Consulting Company, your best source for food labeling help.

Q.  I have a new product and need help with food labels. Do I need to send a sample of my product to you? What information will you need from me?

          A.J., Start-up Food Company, CA

 

A.  For most products Food Consulting Company uses database analysis of a product's recipe formulation so a sample is not needed. When properly performed, database analysis is an excellent predictor of a product's nutritional content and a lower cost alternative to laboratory analysis. Read more.

Submit a question for Reader Q&A (no charge).

Food Labels Claims Helpful Series Launched

With this issue, Food Label News is launching a ten-part instructional series on regulatory guidance for using food label claims. Information offered in the series is intended to help interested persons understand the complexities of label claims regulations and how to best use the various types of allowed claims. Readers can access print-ready pages each month; the pages will add up to a booklet that begins with a table of contents and list of table references.

The series is based on a 2009 publication titled "Silliker Nutrient and Health Claims U.S. Regulatory Guide" that was cooperatively developed by Food Consulting Company and Silliker, Inc. Food Consulting Company provided the technical content for the guide which is used by both companies for informational purposes with clients. Silliker provides laboratory nutrition analysis for Food Consulting Company clients when analytical data is needed or desired.

Print Series Part 1 which includes the front cover, table of contents and list of table references.


FDA Commissioner Promises Enforcement

Margaret Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of FDA, recently announced her commitment to prevent harm to the American people through swift, aggressive and effective enforcement of FDA laws and regulations. An August 6, 2009, press release from FDA outlines steps designed to ensure violative inspection results are taken seriously, that warning letters and enforcement actions occur in a timely manner and that steps are taken to protect consumers in cases where immediate enforcement action is not possible.

Warning letters are issued by FDA for food labeling violations. FDA warning letters are posted on the Agency's web site; periodic review of the letters pertaining to food labeling violations can be instructive and helpful to food labelers.

Read press release

Access warning letters

Commentary: If you are seeking assurance about the accuracy and compliance of your food labels, request a Label Compliance Review. Food Consulting Company will examine your food labels to assure that they are in full compliance with FDA and FTC regulations. You will receive a report with instructions for any necessary changes.


Restaurants Speak Out on Menu Labeling

In late July a group of 21 restaurant chains sent a letter to Congress stating their support for the federal effort to require calorie labeling, but urging the policymakers to set a minimum financial standard for mandatory compliance instead of the "chains with 20 or more locations" standard that is being considered by Congress now. According to the group, the 20 location standard would apply to fewer than 25 percent of the nation's restaurants. Group members recommend setting a minimum financial standard for inclusion such as $1 million in annual sales and/or applying the requirements to all chains with three or more locations, excluding small businesses for whom labeling might be a hardship.

Food Label News learned of the letter to Congress via several Internet news sites. Food Label News communicated with three sites to obtain a link to the letter and none could provide this. Fast Casual posts a press release that includes a list of companies behind the request to Congress.

Commentary: There is a precedent for using annual sales as a criteria for a nutrition labeling exemption; for packaged foods the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act exempts retailers whose annual sales are $500,000 or less from the requirements for nutrition labeling (see previous Reader Q&A).

Food Consulting Company encourages restaurants of all sizes to voluntarily initiate calorie/nutrition labeling. Food Consulting Company provides nutritional analysis for menu items and nutrition/allergen guides for restaurants. Contact us for more information.


At Your Service: Introducing Foodzie, an online marketplace/community dedicated to helping small passionate food producers find customers and grow their business. Foodzie.com makes it easy for food artisans to sell their products directly to consumers, and for foodies to learn about and share the products they love.

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