Interactive Tool- Food Labelling Requirements

Important notice

The information on this web page is being updated to reflect changes to labelling information, which include nutritional information, list of ingredients, and food colour requirements due to amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) and the implementation of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

The new FDR requirements are available in the Industry Labelling Tool. Food businesses have a transition period to meet them, during which they must comply with either the former or the new requirements.

Below is an interactive image of a food product label which depicts the mandatory information as well as requirements related to certain voluntary information such as claims and brand names. As you scroll over the items, a brief description will appear or you can click on the item for more information. Please visit the food labelling and advertising website for further information.

Interactive Food Label. Description of each label is listed below the image.Common NameBrand NameComposition ClaimNutrient content claimNet QuantityNutrition Facts TableList of ingredientsAllergy statementOrigin ClaimName and AddressDate MarkingPrincipal Display Panel

Description of the interactive image - Labelling

Origin claim

The use of Product of Canada or the qualified Made in Canada claims are encouraged to ensure clarity for the consumer and to enhance their ability to identify Canadian made foods. Specific guidelines were developed to reflect consumer and industry expectations about what constitutes a Canadian product.

Name and Address

The name and address identifies the responsible party and provides the location where a company can be contacted. It must be declared on any part of the food container except the bottom, in either French or English.

Allergy statement

Allergen statements assist consumers in avoiding the potentially serious consequences of allergic and sensitivity reactions to foods. Priority allergens are required to be declared in food label ingredient lists. A separate statement at the end of the list of ingredients may also be used.

List of ingredients

The list of ingredients must be listed in descending order of proportion by weight, as determined before they are combined to make the food. It is required on most prepackaged foods. The ingredient list may be shown anywhere on the package, except the bottom and must be shown in both English and French.

Nutrition Facts table

The Nutrition Facts table (NFT) provides information about the nutrient content of a food (including energy (Calories) and 13 core nutrients) in a standardized format, allowing for comparison among foods at the point of purchase. The NFT must be displayed on the available display surface of a package in both English and French.

Date marking

The date marking (also known as "best before") is the anticipated amount of time that an unopened food product, when stored under appropriate conditions, will retain quality characteristics such as freshness, taste or appearance. "Best before" dates must appear on pre-packaged foods with a durable life of 90 days or less and may be declared on foods with a shelf life greater than 90 days. The "best before" date may appear anywhere on the package. If it is placed on the bottom, a clear indication of its location must be shown elsewhere on the label. It must be present in both English and French or indicated by using specified bilingual abbreviations.

Composition claim

Highlighted ingredient claim: a voluntary claim to draw attention to or emphasize the presence of an ingredient, component, class of ingredients or the flavour in a food, using words, pictures or graphics. These types of claims must not deceive a consumer with respect to the composition or quality of a food.

Principal Display Panel

The Principal Display Panel (PDP) is the part of the label that is displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use (usually the front panel). The common name and net quantity of a food must be displayed on the PDP.

Brand name

Not required but frequently used by a manufacturer to identify its products distinctively from others of the same type. Brand names are subject to all labelling requirements, including compliance with provisions regarding claims.

Net quantity

The net quantity is the amount of food in the package. It must be present on the principal display panel in a minimum type height.

Nutrient content claim

A nutrient content claim is a voluntary statement which describes the amount of a nutrient in a food or a group of foods. Only those listed in the Food and Drug Regulations are permitted on food labels when the foods meet the stated criteria. When made, nutrient content claims must be in both English and French. When a nutrient content claim appears on a food, a Nutrition Facts table is required.

Common name

The common name is the name of the food printed in boldface type in the Food and Drug Regulations; the name prescribed by any other regulation; or the name by which the food is generally known. It must be present on the principal display panel in both English and French.