Bilingual food labelling
Manner of declaring
Legibility and location
Labelling information must meet applicable legibility prescribed type height requirements [208, 210, 211, SFCR; A.01.016, FDR]. The English and French information must meet minimum type height requirements but it is not required to be in equal type height. For example, the French common name could appear in 6.4 mm type height on the principal display panel while the English common name appears in 1.6 mm, regardless of whether it appears on the same principal display panel or on a separate English-only principal display panel. However for consistency in legibility and to help ensure information can be easily read, it is encouraged that information be presented in the same type height.
Bilingual information required to be on the principal display panel may be presented in one of the following ways:
- the English and French information may appear on a single principal display panel. In such cases, it is recommended that either all of the information in English appears grouped together and all of the information in French appears grouped together or, the information in English and French may alternate on the panel
- when there are one or more surfaces on the label of a food that are of at least the same size and prominence as the principal display panel, separate English and French principal display panels may be used [B.01.012(8), FDR; 207(a) and (b), SFCR]
For information that may appear on parts of the label other than the principal display panel, bilingual information may be presented in several ways:
- the information in French and the information in English may appear on two separate panels
- all the information in French and all the information in English may appear grouped together on the same panel, or
- the French and English information may alternate on the same panel
When requirements specify "with no intervening material" (for example, a claim such as "Reduced in trans fatty acids" which must be accompanied by a supporting statement of the amount of energy or the nutrient per serving of stated size with no intervening material and in the same size type and prominence), information in the other language is considered intervening material.
Some provinces may have additional language requirements for products marketed within their jurisdiction. For example, the province of Quebec has additional requirements concerning the use of the French language on all products marketed in Quebec.
Sous-ministériat à la santé animale et à l'inspection des aliments
200 Chemin Sainte-Foy
Québec, Quebec G1R 4X6
Telephone: 418-380-2120 and 1-800-463-5023
Quebec French language labelling information can be found at the l'Office de la langue française - (French only).
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