The U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced on May 3, 2018, that it would officially extend the deadline for food manufacturers to comply with the new nutrition facts panel regulation. The agency had previously published a proposed rule in September 2017 to extend the compliance date, and the rule announced on May 3, 2018 finalized that extension.
The new deadlines are as follows:
- Manufacturers with more than $10,000,000 in annual sales do not need to comply until January 1, 2020
- Manufacturers with less than $10,000,000 in annual sales do not need to comply until January 1, 2021
The new nutrition facts panel provides an updated format and layout for displaying required nutrition information that can be most easily be distinguished by a more prominent listing for the Calories and Serving Size. In addition to formatting changes, the regulation creates new requirements for the calculation and listing of added sugars and for what kinds of fiber may be declared as dietary fiber. Manufacturers must keep additional records about these nutrients. The regulation also replaces the mandatory declaration of Vitamin A and Vitamin C with the requirement to list Vitamin D and Potassium. In addition, FDA updated the appropriate serving sizes for foods to more closely reflect consumption patterns of United States consumers. For some manufacturers, the overall effect of these changes has resulted in the need to significantly redesign the packaging of their products. Companies should consider the new requirements during any label design or redesign efforts.
FDA extended the deadline based upon comments from manufacturers that they would need more time to implement the required changes. Industry members are also awaiting the publication of certain final guidance documents relating to the calculation of added sugars and vitamins and minerals in the product.
For more information about the extension, please visit FDA’s website.