The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) states that all food intended for retail sale must have nutrition facts on the package. Foods that contain insignificant amounts of all the nutrients that are required in the declaration of nutrition facts do not have to have a nutrition label. Insignificant amounts are instances where all ingredients round to zero or less than 1 gram. Some examples of this include coffee beans, tea, and some spices. Other exemptions include the following:
- Producers that employ less than 100 full-time employees and sell fewer than 100,000 units of the product per year. To qualify for the exemption, producers must file a notice annually with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
- Retailers with annual gross sales of $500,000 or less or sales of food products of less than $50,000 are exempt and do not have to file for the exemption with FDA.
- If a producer is not an importer and has less than 10 full-time employees, they do not have to file notices for products with less than 10,000 units sold per year.
If any nutrient content claim (e.g., sugar free), health claim, or other nutrition information is provided on the label, in labeling, or in advertising, the small business exemption is not applicable for that product.
Nutrition Facts Label Assistance
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System can assist businesses in the creation of nutrition facts labels for most products. These nutrition facts labels are generated using the Genesis R & D software from ESHA Research. The information needed to complete a label includes the items listed below. Note: All recipes are kept confidential.
- A complete list of ingredients and the amounts of each. Amounts listed by weight of the ingredient will result in a more accurate label. Be sure to specify if the ounces are by weight or by volume (fluid ounces).
- The yield of the recipe (how much does it make).
- The retail package size (how much product is in the retail package).
- About the ingredients. Producers should be specific. Include any additional information about the ingredients that would help describe each ingredient (i.e. canned, fresh, dried, no added salt, gluten-free, from concentrate, etc.).
To ensure accuracy of nutrition facts panels, submit a copy of the label for each of the ingredients. Make sure to include the front of the label with the brand and container size information and the portion of the label with the nutrition facts panel, ingredients, and allergen statement. Copies of labels should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All weights and measures must be accurate. Failure to provide accurate weights and measures will delay testing and possibly result in an inaccurate nutrition facts panel. It may also result in additional fees for reanalysis. Do not give numbers of items (i.e. three peppers) without a weight or measure. Instead, provide the total weight or measure of the items (i.e. 1 pound green bell peppers).
Include the name of the product in the description field when making payment. This will ensure that payments are credited appropriately.
- In-state fee – $100 per recipe
- Out-of-state fee – $200 per recipe
Create a Nutrition Facts Panel
For information on creating a nutrition facts panel, contact Dani Reams at email@example.com.