A Food Labeling Guide: Chapter 1 - General Food Labeling Requirements ΓΈ Calorie Counter
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A Food Labeling Guide: Chapter 1 - General Food Labeling Requirements

A Food Labeling Guide | Chapter 2: Name of Food >>

1.1. Where should label statements be placed on containers and packages?
There are two ways to label packages and containers:
  • Place all required label statements on the front label panel (the principal display panel or PDP).
  • Place certain specified label statements on the principal display panel and other labeling on the information panel (the label panel immediately to the right of the principal display panel, as seen by the consumer facing the product).
1.2. What are the principal display panel and the alternate principal display panel?
The principal display panel, or PDP, is that portion of the package label that is most likely to be seen by the consumer at the time of purchase. Many containers are designed with two or more different surfaces that are suitable for display as the PDP. These are alternate principal display panels.

21 CFR 101.1
1.3. What label statements must appear on the principal display panel?
The statement of identity, or name of the food, and the net quantity statement, or amount of product, on the PDP and on the alternate PDP.

21 CFR 101.3(a) and 101.105(a)
1.4. Which label panel is the information panel?
The information panel is the label panel immediately to the right of the PDP, as displayed to the consumer. If this panel is not usable, due to package design and construction, (e.g., folded flaps), then the information panel is the next label panel immediately to the right.

21 CFR 101.2(a)
1.5. What is information panel labeling?
The phrase "information panel labeling" refers to the label statements that are generally required to be placed together, without any intervening material, on the information panel, if such labeling does not appear on the PDP. These label statements include the name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor, the ingredient list, and nutrition labeling.

21 CFR 101.2(b) and (d)
1.6. What type size, prominence and conspicuousness is required?
For information panel labeling, use a print or type size that is prominent, conspicuous and easy to read. Use letters that are at least one-sixteenth (1/16) inch in height based on the lower case letter "o". The letters must not be more than three times as high as they are wide, and the lettering must contrast sufficiently with the background so as to be easy to read. Do not crowd required labeling with artwork or non-required labeling.

Smaller type sizes may be used for information panel labeling on very small food packages as discussed in 21 CFR 101.2(c).

Different type sizes are specified for the nutrition facts label.

21 CFR 101.2(c) and 101.9(d)(1)(iii)
1.7. What is the prohibition against intervening material?
Nonessential, intervening material is not permitted to be placed between the required labeling on the information panel (e.g., the UPC bar code is not required labeling).

21 CFR 101.2(e)
1.8. What name and address must be listed on the label?
Food labels must list:
  • Name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor. Unless the name given is the actual manufacturer, it must be accompanied by a qualifying phrase which states the firm's relation to the product, e.g., "manufactured for" or "distributed by."
  • Street address if the firm name and address are not listed in a current city directory or telephone book;
  • City or town;
  • State (or country, if outside the United States); and
  • ZIP code (or mailing code used in countries other than the United States).

21 CFR 101.5
A Food Labeling Guide | Chapter 2: Name of Food >>



Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
A Food Labeling Guide, September 1994 (Editorial revisions June, 1999)

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