Selling A Food Item For The First Time? Food Labeling Requirements

Business Blog

If you have always loved to cook and would like to turn your hobby into a money-making endeavor, then you may be getting ready to sell food items for the first time.

While there are many steps to turning a cooking hobby into a business, including obtaining business licenses and permits that your state requires of kitchen owners, you should learn about the federal food labeling requirements now, so you are prepared to place Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-compliant labels on your food items before you sell them. 

Read on to learn about a few important food labeling requirements. 

Nutrition Facts Label

Most food items sold in the United States today must have a nutrition facts label prominently displayed on the food packaging. This label should be located near the product ingredient list and the manufacturer's name and address. 

This label should contain the product serving size in both imperial and metric measurements, the number of food servings the package contains, calories in a serving, number of calories from fat per serving, and the number of fat, protein, and carbohydrate grams in each serving.

In addition, the cholesterol and sodium content of the food must be stated on this label, and the number of grams of saturated fat, trans fat, dietary fiber, and sugar in each product serving must also be displayed clearly. Finally, the vitamin and mineral content of the food should be included.

The FDA also has additional nutrition facts label guidelines and requirements, such as the typeface and font size of each nutrition chart component, so familiarize yourself with this labeling law before you create your product labels. 

Food Allergen Content

Due to the passage of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, all food labels today must also contain an allergen disclosure list that identifies common allergens the food contains. This disclosure helps people with food allergies determine whether a food contains a potential allergen much more easily than they can determine it by scanning the ingredient list; some food ingredients are hidden sources of allergens. 

This list must be added to the labels of all foods that contain proteins derived from the eight most common allergenic ingredients, which include milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans. 

Optional Nutrient Content Claims

Stating on your food labeling that the food is a great source of a specific nutrient or low in fat may help increase product purchases by health-conscious consumers. However, be aware that the FDA has strict nutrient content claim guidelines that your food item(s) must meet before you can print any nutritional claims on your labeling. 

For example, to include the low-fat food nutrient content claim, your food item must contain three grams of fat or less per serving. 

If you plan to begin selling a food item, be sure to learn all about the FDA food labeling guidelines and ensure your product labels meet these guidelines before you have a labeling company print your first food labels. 


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