The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final guidance to help manufacturers of packaged foods comply with its updated Nutrition Facts labeling regulations. The final guidance addresses serving sizes of foods, including single-serving foods and other foods that can reasonably be consumed at one eating occasion and require dual-column labeling. It finalizes a draft guidance issued in November 2018.
The final guidance provides questions and answers on topics related to: 1) the definition of a single-serving container; 2) reference amounts customarily consumed, which are used by companies to determine serving sizes; 3) dual-column labeling, including formatting issues for products that have limited space for nutrition labeling; and 4) miscellaneous issues, such as requirements relating to the labeling of chewing gum and to multi-unit retail food packages.
Compliance with the updated Nutrition Facts labeling regulations is now required (beginning Jan. 1, 2020) for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, while manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply. During the first six months following the Jan. 1, 2020, compliance date, the FDA plans to work cooperatively with manufacturers to meet the new Nutrition Facts label requirements and will not focus on enforcement actions regarding these requirements during that time. In addition, the agency intends to exercise enforcement discretion to give manufacturers of single-ingredient sugars such as honey and maple syrup, and certain cranberry products, until July 1, 2021, to comply.
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