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Former – Labelling requirements checklist

Important notice

On December 14, 2016, amendments to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colour requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations came into force. Regulated parties have a 5 year transition period to meet the new labelling requirements. This former page of the Industry Labelling Tool reflects the former requirements.

For information on the new labelling requirements, consult Labelling requirements checklist.

The following checklist is a self-assessment tool to help industry understand labelling requirements set out in the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations and the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations.

The checklist only covers core labelling requirements applicable to all foods. For more information on voluntary claims or statements and commodity specific labelling requirements, visit the Industry Labelling Tool.

Labelling requirements checklist disclaimer: Adherence to the Labelling requirements checklist does not preclude the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) from taking regulatory action in cases on non-compliance to regulatory and legislative labelling requirements. This publication is not a legal document. The user is encouraged to consult the official version of the applicable legislation in the Food and Drugs Act and in the Safe Food for Canadians Act for the purposes of interpreting and applying the law. The Labelling requirements checklist was last modified in January 2019.

Labelling requirements

Common name

Is a common name present?

Is the common name on the principal display panel (definition) (PDP)?

Is the common name in letters of 1.6 mm or greater?

Is it an appropriate common name?

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on Common name.

Net quantity declaration

Is a net quantity declaration present?

Is the net quantity declared on the PDP?

Is it in metric units?

Is the appropriate manner (volume, weight, count) for the product used?

Is it rounded to three figures, unless below 100?

Are the correct bilingual symbols used? (e.g., ml, mL, mℓ, L, l, ℓ for liquids; g, kg for solids)

Does the size of the numerical portion meet requirements (based on size of PDP)? Is it in bold face type? Are the units in letters of 1.6 mm or greater (based on lowercase "o")?

If optional Canadian units are also present, are they declared properly?

If optional U.S. gallons and quarts are also present, are they identified properly? (fl oz optional)

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on Net quantity.

List of ingredients and allergen labelling

Is a list of ingredients present?

Are ingredients in descending order of proportion by weight?

Have the ingredients been declared using an appropriate common name?

Have components been properly declared where required?

Are priority allergens, gluten sources and sulphites declared using the prescribed source name if present in product?

Is the above information not placed on the bottom panel?

Is the "contains" statement, if present, at the end of the list of ingredients without any intervening printed, written or graphic material?

Are the English and French lists of ingredients and allergen declarations the same?

Is the list of ingredients and allergen labelling legible and readily discernible?

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on List of ingredients and allergens labelling.

Name and principal place of business

Is a name and principal place of business present, to the level of detail required?

Imported product

Is the information on any label panel except solely on the bottom (except ornamental containers)?

Are type height requirements of 1.6 mm or greater met?

Is it in English or French?

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on Name and principal place of business.

Date markings

"Best before" date

Is a "best before" date required (durable life of 90 days or less, unless exempt food or packaged where sold at retail)?

Is the correct wording "best before / meilleur avant" used in English and French (or in one language if exempt from bilingual labelling)?

Is the wording grouped with the date or does it clearly explain the date if located elsewhere on the label?

Is the presentation (order of info (yr, m, day), use of bilingual symbols for months) of the date acceptable? - e.g., MA 26

Is the location of the date acceptable (anywhere on the label, with location specified elsewhere if date is present on bottom)?

"Packaged on" date

Is a "packaged on" date required (durable life of 90 days or less and packaged where sold at retail, unless exempt food)?

Is the correct wording "packaged on / empaqueté le" used (or in one language if exempt from bilingual labelling)?

Is the wording grouped with the date or does it clearly explain the date if located elsewhere on the label?

Is the presentation correct as described above?

Is location of the date acceptable as described above?

Storage instructions

Are storage instructions required? (required if storage conditions differ from normal room temperature or may be required by food-specific legislation)

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for more information on Food-specific labelling requirements.

Expiration date

Is an "expiration date" required? (food for special dietary use)

Legibility and availability

Is all of the above information legible and readily discernible?

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on Date markings.

Nutrition labelling

Nutrition Facts table (NFt)

Is a NFt present?

Location/orientation

Is the NFt

on the outer package? (except for alternate methods of presentation)

not destroyed when product is opened? (except for single serve containers)

on one continuous surface of the ADS?

placed so that product will not leak or be damaged in order to view the NFT?

Format

Is the appropriate format family used?

Is an appropriate format version (size) chosen within a "family" of formats?

Contents

Is the serving size reasonable? Does it include a consumer friendly & metric measure based on the food as sold?

Are energy and the 13 core nutrients declared, unless conditions for use of simplified format have been satisfied?

Are any non-permitted nutrients declared?

Are triggered nutrients declared?

Have the correct units and % DV (percent Daily Value) been used when permitted/required?

Are the units rounded as per Regulations?

Presentation

Colour: is the table background and print in the appropriate colours?

Is the font and type:

Is the information in the correct order?

Is the correct indenting used?

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on Nutrition labelling.

Bilingual requirements

Is all mandatory information referred to in this checklist in English and French, except the responsible person's name and address which may be in either French or English?

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on Bilingual labelling.

Irradiation

Is the food permitted to be irradiated?

Is the international symbol on the principal display panel?

Does the international symbol meet the minimum size requirements for the outer diameter?

Are irradiated ingredients that constitute more than 10% of the final food identified in the list of ingredients as "irradiated"?

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on Irradiated food.

Sweeteners (in addition to list of ingredients requirements)

Does the sweetener used require declaration on the PDP?

Is the PDP declaration in the minimum type size required?

Does the sweetener used trigger a NFt?

Does the sweetener used require an amount declaration?

If aspartame is used, does the product make a phenylalanine declaration?

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on Sweeteners.

Country of origin

Is the product one of the following?

Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for further information on Country of origin labelling.

Notes

Date modified: