Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling Comes to Life in CanadaBlog
By Dorothy Hong, Regulatory Specialist, Labeling Compliance and Regulatory Services
On June 30th, 2022, Health Canada introduced the Front-of-Package (FOP) nutrition labeling regulations for prepackaged foods high in saturated fat, sugars, and/or sodium. The new FOP nutrition labeling regulations are a key part of Canada’s Healthy eating strategy, which aims to help Canadians quickly and easily identify foods that are high in these nutrients and make more informed food choices.
This regulation will come into force on July 20th, 2022 meaning all regulatory requirements for the regulations are to be released that day or earlier. All food manufacturers selling their products in Canada are given a transition period until Jan 1st, 2026 to make this change on labels.
Basics of the FOP nutrition symbol
An FOP nutrition symbol, in black and white and including a magnifying glass, highlights what the food has a high concentration of: saturated, sodium, sugars, or any combination of these, and the word “Health Canada” at the bottom of the symbol. This symbol must be in both English and French and placed in the upper half of the label in a size proportional to the size of the food label.
What food requires an FOP nutrition symbol?
Prepackaged foods that require a nutrition facts table on the label, will require an FOP nutrition symbol when saturated fat, sugars, or sodium in these foods meets or exceeds the following thresholds*:
- 15% DV for majority foods, i.e., soup, deli meat.
- 10% DV for foods with a small reference amount (≤ 30 g or mL), i.e., pickles, salad dressing.
- 30% DV for main dishes (with some exception) with a large reference amount (≥ 200 g), i.e., pizza, meat pie.
*The thresholds correspond to a percentage of the daily value (DV) per reference amount or serving size, whichever is greater.
What foods are exempt from an FOP nutrition symbol?
Certain prepackaged foods do not require an FOP nutrition symbol, due to health-related, technical, and practical reasons. For example,
- 2% milk and frozen whole/cut vegetables and fruits, which have recognized health protection benefits for the whole population.
- Prepackaged foods that do not require a nutrition facts table on the label, like raw, single ingredient whole meats and poultry.
- Sugar, salt, and butter, which are commonly known to have a high content of sugar, sodium, or saturated fat.
What can Mérieux NutriSciences do for you?
Mérieux NutriSicences provides various Regulatory Services for FOP nutrition labeling. Contact our labeling experts to learn more.