FDA Nutrition Facts Panel Update 2017: What Food Manufacturers Need to Know

The 2018 implementation of new FDA nutrition facts panels could be delayed under the Trump administration.

The 2018 implementation of new FDA nutrition facts panels could be delayed under the Trump administration. Photo credit: Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Those working in the food industry know the FDA has been undergoing significant changes since the Trump Administration took office. Recently, President Trump granted his new FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, permission to delay calorie labeling on restaurant menus—a change that was supposed to be implemented May 5, 2017.

Food manufacturers are currently facing a similar setback regarding the small but significant changes to the nutrition facts panel. A recent coalition of powerful food industry groups petitioned the Trump Administration to extend the new food labeling legislation by another three years. Sure enough, on June 13th, the FDA announced there will be an indefinite delay of the new labels.

While the delay was intended to eliminate the financial burden on businesses, many businesses had already spent the money on nutritional analysis and creating new labels for their products. While we really don’t know when the compliance date will be set or what changes for labeling are coming down the pipe, here’s what you need to know when it comes time to roll out a new label.

Nutrition Facts Label Changes Under the Obama Administration

The new nutrition facts panel will include a few minor changes intended to help Americans make healthy food choices by highlighting important nutritional information. For instance, serving size and calorie information will be bold with the new labels, and the amount of sugar added to a product (in addition to total sugars) will be included.

Before the Trump Administration announced the indefinite delay, the legislation introduced under the Obama Administration stated that large food manufacturing businesses with over $10 million in annual food sales must comply with this new label by July 26, 2018, while small businesses with sales under $10 million had an additional full calendar year. This staggering was intended to allow less profitable businesses more time to secure the finances needed to make such changes, something the Trump Administration is still very much concerned about.

Given the unpredictability of the Trump Administration, food manufacturers should be aware that the FDA could make amendments to the proposed label, but these are the changes we currently expect. While we wait for more information from the FDA, food manufacturing businesses should prepare for any potential changes by looking into financially viable options for new labels.

Affordable Labeling Options

While it is true that creating new labels requires financial output from food manufacturers, nutritional analysis and FDA-approved label creation can be done in an affordable, business-friendly way. Online nutritional analysis software allows food manufacturers of any size to perform simple nutritional analysis of their products themselves, without hiring a food lab or a consultant (with the exception of fried products, which require analysis performed by a food lab).

This online software can save you hundreds of dollars and hours of time. Sending your products to a food lab is not only expensive, it also takes up to thirty days to receive results and hours or even days to prepare samples. Plus, FDA-compliant software like LabelCalc offers a variety of low-cost payment options, from analysis of a single recipe to annual unlimited memberships. And if you don’t want to do the analysis and label creation yourself, you have the option to hire LabelCalc experts to take care of everything at an additional cost.

Quick and Simple FDA-Approved Labels

While there is no rush for food manufacturers to update their labels just yet, it is a good idea to source out an online nutritional analysis and FDA-compliant label-making software so that when the time does come to change the labels, you can do it as cost-effectively as possible. With online nutritional analysis software, every time you tweak your recipes, create new products, or receive new FDA guidelines to comply with, you can simply log into your account to access your secure, backed-up information and make changes quickly and easily.

At LabelCalc, we keep all our users up-to-date with the latest information regarding FDA labeling regulations through our blog for food manufacturers.  Plus, our labeling experts are always here to answer any questions you have in regards to your particular food product. Given the current political climate, it’s important to stay abreast of the latest labeling laws so you are well prepared to implement any updates to your label when the time comes and avoid making any unnecessary changes that may be repealed.

Whether you’re creating a label for your first product or changing your labels to comply with the latest FDA regulations, choose LabelCalc. Contact us to learn more about our user-friendly, FDA-compliant software.

What is LabelCalc?

LabelCalcⓇ is one of FoodCalc LLC’s two nutrition analysis products, created to help meet the needs of the food industry. Based in San Francisco, CA, we are a nationally recognized provider of online nutrition analysis that is fast, accurate, and FDA-compliant.

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