Health Canada on October 24, 2016 launched the Healthy Eating Strategy for Canada. One of its objectives is to help Canadians make better food choices. To achieve this goal the final amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations - Nutrition Labelling, Other Labelling Provisions and Food Colours were published in Canada Gazette, Part II on December 14, 2016.
Under Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations, most prepackaged foods must have a Nutrition Facts table in a consistent format, with regulated, science-based content. Nutrition Facts tables provide product-specific nutrient information to help consumers make informed food choices.
Key changes to the Nutrition Facts table include:
- a percent Daily Value (%DV) for sugars
- a footnote that explains how to use the % DV
- updated list of nutrients that must appear in the table
- a requirement to make serving size more consistent for easy comparison.
The list of ingredients is another key piece of information on the food label that consumers often use to make informed food choices. The changes will help consumers find and read it on food packages more easily.
Key changes to the list of ingredients include:
- improved legibility for the list of ingredients and allergen information
- grouping of sugars-based ingredients under the common name “sugars”
- the declaration of food colours by their individual common names
In addition, these amendments introduce a new health claim that will make it easier to let Canadians know the health benefits of eating vegetables and fruit. The new health claim – ‘A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of heart disease’ - will now be allowed on vegetables and fruit as specified in the regulations.
Compliance Time Period:
The regulatory amendments provide a five-year transition period for industry to come into compliance with the new requirements. During this five year transition period, regulated parties are permitted to follow either the former or the new labelling requirements.
- Even though Health Canada develops the nutrition labelling regulations, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for the enforcement of the regulations. With respect to the new regulations published on December 14, 2016, a five year transition period has been established for industry to meet the new requirements. Companies may apply either the former regulations or the new regulations during this time.
- During this transition period, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will update its web guidance and tools to reflect the requirements under the new regulations, while maintaining guidance and tools that reflect the requirements under the former regulations.
- We encourage you to learn more about the new food labelling changes.
As a leader in nutrient analysis applications, Axxya Systems is excited to incorporate these new changes in our current Canada Food Labeling Module. We will be working with the Food Inspection Agency and will incorporate these changes as they become part of the Canadian Food industry.
If you have any questions please contact us as needed.