|Page updated/verified: May 23, 2012
Packaging & Labeling
Program Manager: Lucy Severs
The packaging material must protect the product from contamination and must NOT impart any toxic or deleterious substance to the processed food product.
Product labels must include the following information:
NOTE: It is particularly important to label those ingredients that cause allergenic reactions in certain individuals. The following common food allergens would prompt product recalls if not declared as ingredients: Peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, crab, shrimp, lobster, milk, soybeans, wheat, sulfites, yellow dye #5.
Perishable packaged food products with a projected shelf life of thirty (30) days or less must state the pull date on the package label. The pull date must be stated in day and month, and in a style and format that is readily decipherable by consumers. Also, when products require refrigeration either before or after opening, such information must be on the label.
The Nutritional Education and Labeling Act requires specific information regarding the nutritional value of the processed food product on the product label. Contact the United States Food and Drug Association in Bothell, WA (425) 486-8788 to obtain more information or to learn if you are exempt from this labeling requirement.
Universal Product Code
The Universal Product Code (UPC) is an eleven-digit numeric code that identifies a retail consumer package. The symbol can be read by a computer scanner at check stands and allows for ease in checkout, accurate pricing, and collection of sales data.
Although the UPC program is voluntary, a manufacturer's number assignment can only be obtained through membership in the Uniform Code Council. Sales volume determines cost of the membership.
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