Federal Requirements for Food Labeling
Food producers have a lot on their plate, from obtaining permissions to start their food business, organizing the production facilities and creating a quality food product, to branding and marketing that product, attracting customers and ultimately gaining enough profit to continue the business.
There are cons and pros of running a small food business. An obvious disadvantage is the inability to compete with really large companies with huge budgets, but on the other hand, the freedom, independence and lower developmental costs of owning a small business can really make it worthwhile. Some small businesses are also exempted from having to label their food product, which makes it easier and quicker to start selling it.
Food labeling according to regulations prescribed by federal and state food safety agencies is one thing that both big and small food producers often struggle with. These regulations are complex, sometimes even ambiguous, so food producers need to team up with food labeling professionals in order to comply with the requirements.
The two biggest federal agencies that regulate food labeling in the United States are the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). USDA regulates labeling for meat and egg products, while the FDA monitors the rest of the packaged food products, which makes up about 85% of the packaged food market.
The requirements for proper food labeling slightly vary between the FDA and USDA. Here we will give you only the basics of what needs to be included on a food packaging label, so you can have some general idea how to go about this part of the food production process.
|USDA Labeling Requirements||FDA Labeling Requirements|
Who Is Exempted from Food Labeling?
Products that are created and sold only within one state do not need to comply with federal requirements for food labeling, but food manufacturers do need to be familiar with their state’s food labeling regulations.
Many small businesses fall into the category of producers that are exempted from FDA labeling, and more information about it can be found here. Exempted are also some medical foods and low-volume food products.
How to Label Frozen Food Products?
Freezer grade labels are necessary for all packaged food products subjected to freezing conditions, such as meat, seafood, ice-cream, popsicles, veggie and fruit blends, smoothies, frozen baked products, etc. The difference between regular and freezer labels is in the combination of label facestock and adhesive material. Regular, all-temp adhesives and moderately durable stocks such as paper can be an excellent fit for food products stored on grocery store shelves, but they are likely to peel off from products that are kept in freezers.
We at FreezerLabels.com have the knowledge and experience in creating ideal frozen food packaging label solutions that can accommodate any budget. Blank or custom labels, coated paper or polypropylene, labels on rolls or sheets – let us help you make the right choice.