Food labelling for consumers
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.
Consumers can use food labels to make more informed choices about the food they purchase.
Both Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provide direction on food labelling in Canada.
In this section you will learn how to read a food label, and receive information on certain parts of the label, including best before dates and country of origin labelling. Additional information on the nutrition facts table, ingredient list, and nutrition claims can be found on the Canada.ca website.
The food label is one of the most important tools Canadian consumers can use to make informed choices about healthy and safe foods.
This interactive image of a food product label depicts the mandatory information and requirements for certain voluntary information such as claims and brand names.
In Canada, there are mandatory requirement for certain food products to indicate the country of origin on their labels. Companies may also make voluntary claims to highlight the origins of a product or ingredient in a product.
Information about dates on pre-packaged food is a valuable source of information for consumers. A basic understanding of what terms are used can help you to better understand these labels.
Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to a controlled amount of energy called "ionizing radiation." Ionizing radiation can penetrate food, killing microorganisms without raising the temperature of the food significantly.
The CFIA enforces Canada's allergen labelling laws and works with associations, distributors, food manufacturers and importers to ensure complete and appropriate allergen labelling of all foods.
There have been 3 major consultations since 1993 in Canada on the labelling of novel foods derived from genetic engineering. Based on these consultations, a set of guidelines were developed.
As a consumer, you may want to know when you're buying food that has been grown in Canada or made in Canada. That's why the food labels "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" are so important.
Food fraud may occur when food is misrepresented (for example, substituting, adulterating or diluting ingredients, mislabelling products, making false or misleading claims).
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