The number one reason for food-related recalls is due to product labeling mistakes. These mistakes are typically a result of the ever-changing food labeling regulations that continue to evolve and become more complex, forcing many manufacturers to quickly update their current operating practices. Without the proper checks in place, incorrect product information is being sent out. The risk of a label error goes beyond a recall - if not quickly detected, it could impact consumer health (for example, an undisclosed allergen), damaging your brand reputation.
SafetyChain asked Global food regulation expert, Cameron Prince, VP of Regulatory Affairs with The Acheson Group, to share insight on the most common root causes of mislabeling, and what recent regulatory updates are impacting North American food manufacturing, processing, and distributor companies. His insights included information on the following:
FDA’s updated definition of “healthy” foods and guidance on “healthy” claims
FDA policy with questions and answers on Allergen labeling: What must be declared and what food items are exempt
Labeling requirements and 11 critical considerations to take for better label control
The United States' views on Front of Package (FOP) nutrition labeling
Canadian implementation of FOP labeling and next steps
“Allergens continue to dominate the food labeling error discussion, followed by nutrition, then healthy claims. Sometimes it’s like the wild wild west when it comes to enforcing healthy claims on food labels.”
- Cameron Prince | VP, Regulatory Affairs | The Acheson Group
Regarding the FDA’s enforcement of labeling compliance, Cameron explains how the FDA will be more rigorous in more food safety-related cases as more allergens and “at-risk” food requirements change. According to Cameron, there are clear approaches that food manufacturers, suppliers, and processors can take to stay better prepared for future labeling changes and avoid the risk of labeling errors and regulation non-compliance.
To get the details on changing food label regulations and how to best prepare, watch SafetyChain’s Food Labeling Concerns and Cures webinar replay.
Be sure to also check out SafetyChain’s guide to the FDA’s finalized Food Traceability Rule, which details what has changed since the last update, including what “at risk” foods are on the Food Traceability List, and what foods are exempt.