Course:FNH200/Lessons/Lesson 04/Page 04.3

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04. 3 Food Labelling Requirements

Labelling information required on pre-packaged food products, from domestic food processors or imported products, is based on the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations and can be found in theat the CFIA website:

Summarizing the core labelling requirement, a label should include the following:

  • Bilingual labelling- All mandatory information on food labels must be shown in both official languages, i.e., French and English.
  • Common name of the food. The common name is the name prescribed in the Food and Drugs Regulations. In the absence of a prescribed name, the name by which the food is commonly known is used.
  • Country of Origin- Declaring of Country of Origin is required for some specific food. Some companies may choose to voluntarily name the country of origin as advertising. For a complete list of foods requiring mandatory declaration please see the link below
  • Date marking and storage instructions as required. This is required for foods with a storage life of 90 days or less.
    • Durable life is the period of time, beginning on the day on which the pre-packaged product is packaged for retail sale, during which a product stored under prescribed conditions will retain, without appreciable deterioration, its normal wholesomeness, palatability and nutritional value and any other qualities claimed for it by the manufacturer. Products that have passed the durable life date and that have been stored under prescribed conditions are still safe to eat but the quality (appearance, flavour, nutritional value) may have deteriorated.
  • Identity and Principal Place of Business
  • Irradiated foods
  • Legibility and location
  • List of ingredients in descending order of proportion
  • The Nutrition Facts table will show the Calories, the amount of fat, saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, fiber, sugars, protein, calcium, iron and Vitamins A and C in a specified amount of food.Nutrition facts regulations apply to all pre-packaged foods with some exemptions (e.g fresh fruit and vegetables, raw single ingredient meat and poultry that are not ground, raw fish or seafood, alcoholic beverages).
  • Net quantity of the food
  • Sweeteners
  • Other mandatory information may be required for certain foods: eg. % alcohol for alcoholic beverages, % milk fat for some dairy products

Nutrient content claims and diet-related health claims, if made, must adhere to the stated criteria (see below)

Currently, there are 5 disease reduction claims allowed in Canada:

  1. Disease Risk Reduction Claims with Respect to Sodium and Potassium
  2. Disease Risk Reduction Claims with Respect to Calcium and Vitamin D
  3. Disease Risk Reduction Claims with Respect to Saturated and Trans Fats
  4. Disease Risk Reduction Claims with Respect to Cancer Risk Reduction
  5. Disease Risk Reduction Claims with Respect to Dental Caries
Want to learn more?
Want to learn more?
  • Look at labels on a number of food products in your refrigerator and in your cupboards. Is the required information present?
  • Look for the durable life date on packaged perishable food products (e.g. pasteurized milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, bread, refrigerated cured meats-frankfurters bacon, etc).
  • Look for "health claims" in food products (breakfast cereals, orange juice, etc). Do these claims comply with Canadian regulations?