A Major Food Labeling Reference Guide

A Major Food Labeling Reference Guide

In the United States, food labeling is mandatory for most pre-packaged foods like breads, canned and frozen foods, cereals, snacks, drinks, desserts, and so on. The main purpose of food labeling is to provide information to the consumers. Some of the information includes the product name, list of ingredients, nutrition values, quantity of certain ingredients, date of minimum durability, net quantity, name and address of manufacturer or packager, special storage instructions, and place of origin.

To ensure that all foods sold in the US are properly labeled, safe, and wholesome, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides guidelines on how to package and label foods according to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Food labeling is important because it protects the consumers and regulates the production of pre-packaged foods. For "conventional" foods such as fish, fruits, and vegetables, nutrition labeling is voluntary. Here's an ultimate resource list on food labeling.

  • Food Labeling Guide: This is the go to page from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for information on food labeling.
  • Ingredients List: Answers questions about how the ingredients list should be placed on industry food products.
  • Health Claims: Learn about approved industry claims, requirements for the food, claim requirements, and model claims statements in relation to health claims.
  • Conventional Foods: Come here to read about nutrition information for raw fish, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Spot the Block: The program shows how you can make healthy food choices by using the nutrition facts label.
  • Percent Daily Value: Shows how you can calculate the DV for certain food nutrients.
  • Nutrient Claims: Offers definitions of nutrient content claims.
  • Healthy Eating: Older consumers can learn about how to use the nutrition facts label here.
  • Nutrition Facts Label: A lot of information on how to understand and use the label.
  • Healthful Foods: Discover how you can select healthful foods by using the nutrition facts label.
  • The Food Label & You: Watch the video to find out how food labels can be so important.
  • Calories Count: Shows how you can use the nutrition facts label to manage your weight.
  • Children: Here's a great place for children to learn how to read food labels.
  • Food Labeling: A brief description of food labeling by Medline Plus.
  • Dietary Guidelines: The official Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.
  • Smart Nutrition 101: A guide on how to eat healthily and smartly.
  • Choose My Plate: One of the greatest tools for healthy eating.
  • Nutrition Facts: Explains everything about information on food labels, including percent daily values.
  • Nutrients: Learn how to calculate nutrient amounts by using percent daily values.
  • What's in a Food?: A complete breakdown of food labels for adults and children.
  • Dairy Products: A look at the food labeling rules for dairy products.
  • Meat & Poultry Labeling Terms: Describes some of the terms used in the labeling of meat and poultry products.
  • Seafood: A guide on the labeling requirements for seafood.
  • Reading Food Labels: Explains how you can read food labels and eat healthy.
  • Balancing Calories: Provides information on the Caloric Balance Equation, Q & A about calories, and more.
  • Nutrition Label & Quiz: Take this quiz to find out how much you know about food labels.
  • Nutrition Facts Table: Another quiz to test your knowledge of food labels.
  • Economics of Food Labeling: A look at the milestones of food labeling in the US and its economics.
  • Shopping, Cooking & Meal Planning: An educational page on food labels with an emphasis on using labels for shopping, cooking and meal planning.
  • Natural Organic Program: This USDA page outlines the nation's organic program with information on accreditation, certification, compliance, and enforcement.
  • Food Labeling: AIB International offers a great page on food labeling for the US and Canada.
  • What's On a Food Label: This PDF from the Kansas State University Library goes over the basics of reading food labels.
  • Understanding the Food Label: Colorado State University Extension provides this useful summary page on how to read food labels.
  • Family Nutrition: This page from Ask Dr. Sears provides information on learning about food packaging labels.