The U.S. Department of Agriculture's food labeling laws have grown more strict in recent years. Ignoring these directives could be troublesome for producers in all corners of the food industry and every stage of the supply chain. If this is your field, it's time to check up on the latest changes to ensure you're in compliance.
The silver lining in obliging these new regulations lies in how neatly they fit with consumer trends. As research firm Packaged Facts recently noted, millennials are interested in looking at the ingredients in food products and making their decisions based on those listings. They have switched away from the values that defined previous generations, such as an aversion to food containing fat, and prefer wholesome, simple ingredient lists.
Nutrition Facts for Everything
The USDA recently noted that its efforts to improve food labeling include pushing the nutrition facts label into a place it hasn't been before – on the packages of single-ingredient raw meat and poultry. This shows that no matter how simple or self-explanatory an item is, consumers have to have information on its nutritional potential. Health-conscious young shoppers will doubtless be interested in these facts.
The stated intent of the USDA with its increased labeling authority is to ensure that consumers always know when and if they are buying items that aren't obvious at first. In an era that values disclosure, the transition to using mandatory nutrition labels should be relatively smooth for producers of raw meat and poultry products.
The New Look
As has been discussed before, the Food And Drug Administration's nutrition facts label is itself changing. Food Dive's quick rundown of the changes noted that it sports updated daily values for nutrients such as vitamin D, sodium, potassium and fiber. Serving sizes have also been re-regulated to ensure they are more realistic and reflect how much a person would actually consume at once.
The revised design, which large companies must have in place by July 26, 2018 – and small organizations must use by July 26, 2019 – is the first change to the label in 20 years. In that time, nutritional science has progressed steadily, making a strong case for a revised design.
Print Your Own
When you create your products' new labels, based on the latest nutrition facts disclosure guidelines, you can take the process in-house via label printers. Creating labels in-house is a great way to stay agile and maintain an economical do-it-yourself spirit. It's possible to get great quality from labels you print on site, provided you use a high-quality printer such as the EPSON TM-C7500. Check it out in our U.S. store or on our Canadian site.