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LABELING, FOOD

or “distributed by”). The signature line must include a city or town, state (or country, if outside the United States), and ZIP code (or mailing code if outside the United States). A street address must be provided unless the firm is listed in a current city or telephone directory.

Label Information Required in Specific Cases

In specific circumstances—particularly when additional information could protect or otherwise benefit the con- sumer—specialized labeling may be required.

Warning and information statements. Certain prod-

ucts are required to present warning or information state- ments on their labels. For example, foods containing the artificial sweetener aspartame must bear the following statement in capital letters: “phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine.” Other food products required to bear warning or information statements on their labels include the following:

1. Foods that contain the fat replacer olestra

2. Foods that contain the artificial sweetener sorbitol (daily ingestion of 50 grams or more)

3. Foods that contain the artificial sweetener mannitol (daily ingestion of 20 grams or more)

4. Foods that contain dry psyllium husk and that bear a health claim linking consumption of soluble fiber from psyllium husk with reduced risk of coronary heart disease

5. Irradiated foods 6. Fresh eggs (in consumer packages)

7. Foods packaged in self-pressurized containers and intended to be expelled from the package under pres- sure

8. Foods that contain, or are manufactured with, chlo- rofluorocarbon or other ozone-depleting substances

9. Juices or juice-containing beverages that have not been processed so as to produce a minimum five-log (i.e., 100,000-fold) reduction in the most resistant pathogen of public health significance (e.g., E. coli) likely to occur in that product

10. Meat and poultry products that require special han- dling to maintain wholesomeness

11. Foods that contain any meat or poultry that is not ready-to-eat.

Juices. Certain categories of food products are subject to special labeling requirements. Among the most com- monly consumed of such products are the numerous va- rieties of juices available on the market. Any beverage containing fruit or vegetable juice is required to present a percent juice declaration (e.g., “100 percent juice” or “contains 50 percent orange juice”). This declaration must appear near the top of the information panel and is usually placed directly above the nutrition facts. If a bev- erage contains less than 100 percent juice and its state-

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE

ment of identity includes the word “juice,” it must also include a qualifying term such as “drink,” “beverage,” or “cocktail.” If one or more of the juices in the product is made from concentrate, the statement of identity must be qualified with the words “from concentrate” or “re- constituted.”

Country-of-origin marking. Imported foods are re- quired to bear country-of-origin marking (e.g., “product of Italy”). Country-of-origin marking must appear in a conspicuous place and as legibly, indelibly, and perma- nently as possible. Placing country-of-origin marking im- mediately beneath the signature line is often ideal. If the signature line states a U.S. address, it should be followed by country-of-origin marking to avoid misleading con- sumers about the product’s geographic origin.

Flavor designation. If the label (other than in the in- gredients list), labeling, or advertising for a food makes a representation (such as by words or pictures) about the food’s primary recognizable flavor, that flavor is consid- ered its “characterizing flavor” and must accompany the statement of identity on the PDP.

Nutrient content claims. If a food product’s label in- cludes a relative nutrient content claim (e.g., “reduced fat,” “light,” or “added calcium”), the nutrient content claim must be accompanied by information identifying the reference food and explaining how much the nutri- ent in question has been reduced or added. In addition, use of certain nutrient content claims triggers the need to include additional nutrient declarations in the nutri- tion facts. For instance, a claim about potassium content triggers the requirement to declare the actual potassium content in the nutrition facts.

Optional Label Information

Nutrient content claims. A nutrient content claim is any representation that characterizes the level of a nutri- ent in a food product (e.g., “low fat,” or “sugar free”). A nutrient content claim must comply with the specific cri- teria for that particular claim. For instance, to make a “low fat” claim, a food must contain three grams or less total fat per reference amount customarily consumed (RACC). (The RACC, as established by the FDA, is the amount of food normally consumed per eating occasion by persons four years of age or older.)

A label statement about the actual amount or per- centage of a nutrient in a food (“5 grams of fat per serv- ing”) is permitted, provided it is truthful and not misleading and does not characterize the level of the nu- trient in the food. If the statement implicitly character- izes the level of the nutrient (“just 5 grams of fat per serving”), it is an implied nutrient content claim and must either meet the requirements for the implied nutrient content claim (“low fat”), or bear a disclaimer that the food does not meet those requirements (“just 5 grams of fat per serving, not a low-fat food”). Statements such as

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