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SAFEGUARDS | Food NO. 183/16

SafeGuardS Roast chicken

The USDA FSIS released a notice on November 10, 2016 that while the USDA FSIS is in the process of updating the nutrition facts label format for meat and poultry products, these companies can use the US FDA new nutrition facts format and new information panel.

The United States’ Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) released a notice on November 10, 2016 that while the USDA FSIS is in the process of updating the nutrition facts label format for meat and poultry products, these companies can use the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) new nutrition facts format and new information. [1] This can be done until the USDA FSIS publishes its own updates and then these labels will have to comply with those changes, if any, by the compliance date determined by the USDA FSIS.

US FDA New Nutrition Facts Panel and Other Nutrition Initiatives [2]

The US FDA finalized a new format for nutrition facts panels, serving sizes and reference daily intakes on July 26, 2016. The new format places calories, serving size and servings per container in a more predominate place in the panel. The panel no longer requires the listing of calories from fat, vitamin A and vitamin C but it does require the listing of added sugars, vitamin D and potassium.

US FDA compliance dates for this new nutrition facts panel is July 26, 2018 for manufacturers with $10 million USD or more annual food sales, or July 26, 2019 for those with less than that.

Meanwhile, the US FDA reminded the industry that by June 18, 2018 partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are to be removed from food products, unless the US FDA authorizes some use for them. The US FDA has changed the compliance date of the vending machine labeling requirement to July 26 2018, so manufacturers can change the front of the package of the label at the same time as they change the nutrition facts panel. Menu labeling requirements are required by May 5, 2017 which mainly affects food service operators.

On November 1 2016 the US FDA requested whether flavored nut butter spreads (with cocoa, cookie or coffee flavor) should be a separate category from ‘nut butter spread’ and instead appear with the ‘honey, jams, jellies, fruit butter and molasses’ category which would have a Recommended Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC) of 1 tablespoon. [3]

What Does This Mean for The Food Industry?

In the next few years there will be many label changes needed for foods sold in the United States. Unless the industry can prove that PHOs can be used in a safe way in some food product categories then all products using this ingredient will require reformulation. Expert advice in label and formulation changes will need to be obtained in order to assure compliance.

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions, including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. We continually invest in our world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help you reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality. For further information please visit our website.

For enquiries, please contact:

James Cook
Food Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager

t: +01 973 461 1493

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