FDA Releases Draft Guidance on Finalized Label, Serving Size Rules

Facts LabelThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two preliminary documents that will provide food and beverage manufacturers with a glimpse of final rules on nutrition facts labeling and serving sizes.

The papers’ release follows the FDA’s new Nutrition Facts label for packaged goods introduced in May 2016.

One of the documents will particularly address sugar content of a food product or beverage label. Pursuant to the final rules, manufacturers will need to comply by adding the info under the “Includes X g Added Sugars” to be included under “Total Sugars.” In this way, consumers will be aware of the exact amount of sugar added to a product.

The FDA will require the food and beverage industry to follow the new rules by July 26, 2018. For companies with annual food sales falling below $10 million, the federal agency provided them an additional year to be compliant with the policies.

Nutritional Coverage

Imported products will also be subject to the new rules. Exceptions to the regulations include certain meat, poultry and processed egg products regulated by the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The first draft guidance mainly targeted sugar content on products, while the second one will provide guidelines on the appropriate serving sizes on Nutrition Facts labels for food and beverage by classifying items in certain categories.

Extended Deadline

The FDA decided to extend the deadline for public feedback on how the federal agency should define healthy food for consumption. It will accept more comments on the issue until April 26, following a request from the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

The associated cited the holiday season and other activities in the previous year that led to time constraints.

As the food industry awaits new rules on nutrition facts labeling, the packaging industry may benefit from an influx of demand for printing services from manufacturers to put revised labels on their products.