Regulations and compliance: Front-of-package nutrition labelling
Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Nutrition Symbols, Other Labelling Provisions, Vitamin D and Hydrogenated Fats or Oils)
As part of Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy, amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) (Nutrition Symbols, Other Labelling Provisions, Vitamin D and Hydrogenated Fats or Oils) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on July 20, 2022. See Summary of amendments published in the Canada Gazette, Part II: Nutrition symbols, other labelling provisions, vitamin D and hydrogenated fats or oils for more information.
As part of these amendments, there are two documents incorporated by reference into the FDR:
- Nutrition Labelling: Directory of Nutrition Symbol Specifications (this is a new document)
- Nutrition Labelling: Table of Permitted Nutrient Content Statements and Claims (formerly table of nutrient content claims following section B.01.513 in the FDR)
Health Canada will keep stakeholders advised of potential changes to these incorporated by reference documents through consultation and notification processes.
Health Canada is responsible for developing regulations pertaining to front-of-package nutrition labelling and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for enforcing them. With respect to the new regulations published on July 20, 2022, regulated parties have until January 1, 2026 to meet the new requirements.
Health Canada and the CFIA have developed an implementation plan for the transition period.
Health Canada and the CFIA share the responsibility for answering enquiries on the new regulations. Questions on the new requirements and their intent can be submitted to Health Canada. For questions dealing with compliance and enforcement activities, please refer to the implementation plan on the CFIA website.
Front-of-Package Nutrition Symbol Labelling Guide for Industry
The Front-of-Package Nutrition Symbol Labelling Guide for Industry is intended for stakeholders in the Canadian food industry. This includes Canadian manufacturers and importers of foods for sale in Canada and foreign companies who export food to Canada. The guide provides the Government of Canada's interpretation of the new regulations related to the front-of-package nutrition symbol labelling that came into force on July 20, 2022. It is intended to help regulated parties become familiar with core elements of the regulations. The rules for front-of-package nutrition symbol labelling consist of four major parts which are explained in the guide:
- Prepackaged products exempted and prohibited from carrying the symbol
- Nutrient thresholds for the symbol
- Presentation of the symbol
- Voluntary health-related representations such as nutrient content claims on prepackaged products that also carry the symbol
While the guide provides interpretation of core elements of the front-of-package nutrition symbol requirements, at the end of the transition period, the CFIA's Industry Labelling Tool (ILT) will be updated to provide guidance on other aspects of the Regulations not covered in the guide, such as the addition of vitamin D to milks and margarine and the labelling requirements for foods containing high-intensity sweeteners.
Compendium of Nutrition Symbol Formats
The FDR requires a front-of-package nutrition symbol on certain prepackaged foods. This information must be presented in a specific format when it appears on a food label. To help label designers and the food and packaging industry meet the format specifications, Health Canada has created the Compendium of Nutrition Symbol Formats. The available nutrition symbol figures in this document are the actual-size graphic illustrations permitted by the FDR.
If you are interested in staying abreast of consultations, policies and regulations related to nutritional sciences please add yourself to the Consultation and Stakeholder Information Management System (CSIMS)
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