Legibility and Location of Labelling Information
Definitions

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Label

As defined in the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, label means any label, mark, sign, device, imprint, stamp, brand, ticket or tag. [2, CPLA]

As defined in the Food and Drugs Act, label includes any legend, word or mark attached to, included in, belonging to or accompanying any food, drug, cosmetic, device or package. [2, FDA]

Principal Display Surface

The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations define Principal Display Surface as,

  1. in the case of a container that has a side or surface that is displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use, the total area of such side or surface excluding the top, if any,
  2. in the case of a container that has a lid that is the part of the container displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use, the total area of the top surface of the lid,
  3. in the case of a container that does not have a particular side or surface that is displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use, any 40 per cent of the total surface area of the container, excluding the top and bottom, if any, if such 40 per cent can be displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use,
  4. in the case of a container that is a bag with sides of equal dimensions, the total area of one of the sides,
  5. in the case of a container that is a bag with sides of more than one size, the total area of one of the largest sides, and
  6. in the case of a container that is a wrapper or confining band that is so narrow in relation to the size of the product contained that it cannot reasonably be said to have any side or surface that is displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use, the total area of one side of a ticket or tag attached to such container, and
  7. despite paragraphs (a) to (f) of this definition, in the case of a container of wine in which the wine is displayed for sale to consumers, any part of the surface of the container, excluding its top and bottom, that can be seen without having to turn the container. [2.(1), CPLR]

Principal Display Panel

As defined in the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, Principal Display Panel means,

  1. in the case of a container that is mounted on a display card, that part of the label applied to all or part of the principal display surface of the container or to all or part of the side of the display card that is displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use or to both such parts of the container and the display card,
  2. in the case of an ornamental container, that part of the label applied to all or part of the bottom of the container or to all or part of the principal display surface or to all or part of a tag that is attached to the container, and
  3. in the case of all other containers, that part of the label applied to all or part of the principal display surface. [2.(2), CPLR]

As defined in the Food and Drug Regulations, Principal Display Panel means,

  1. in the case of a label applied to a prepackaged product that is subject to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA) the principal display panel as defined in the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations (CPLR) (see CPLR definition for Principal Display Panel above),
  2. in the case of a label applied to a prepackaged product that is not subject to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, that part of the label applied to all or part of the side or surface of the container that is displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use, and where the container does not have such a side or surface, that part of the label applied to any part of the container, except the bottom, if any, and
  3. in the case of a label applied to a food that is not a prepackaged product, that part of the label applied to all or part of the side or surface of the food that is displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use. [B.01.001, FDR]

Bottom

The bottom is considered to be that part of a food or container which may reasonably be expected to be the surface on which the container rests when displayed for purchase. Some containers have several options as to how they can be displayed. If a food or container is labelled or printed in such a way that it may reasonably rest on any of the sides, then there is no bottom.

For example, as a frozen chicken dinner in a box may be displayed on more than one side, there is no definable bottom. In contrast, one would not reasonably expect a lemon meringue pie to be displayed on its side as it would result in damage to the product, and hence there is a definable bottom.

Available Display Surface

Available Display Surface means:

(a) the bottom of an ornamental container or the total surface area of both sides of a tag attached to the ornamental container, whichever is greater

(b) the total surface area of both sides of a tag attached to a package to which a label cannot be physically applied or on which information cannot be legibly set out and easily viewed by the purchaser or consumer under the customary conditions of purchase, and

(c) total surface area of any other package, excluding the bottom if the contents of the package leak out or are damaged when the package is turned over;

but does not include:

(d) any area of a package on which a label cannot be physically applied or on which information cannot be legibly set out and easily viewed by the purchaser or consumer under the customary conditions of purchase,

(e) any part of a package that is intended to be destroyed when it is opened, other than a package of a food that is intended to be consumed by one person at a single eating occasion, or

(f) the area occupied by the universal product code (UPC). [B.01.001, FDR]

Available display surface applies solely to the Nutrition Facts table. The appropriate size, shape and configuration of the Nutrition Facts Table depends on accurately determining the available display surface of the product's packaging. For more information please visit the Nutrition Labelling Section of the website.

Ornamental Container

An "ornamental container" means a container that, except on the bottom, does not have any promotional or advertising material thereon, other than a trade mark or common name and that, because of any design appearing on its surface or because of its shape or texture, appears to be a decorative ornament and is sold as a decorative ornament in addition to being sold as the container of the product [B.01.001, FDR].

Ornamental containers must be substantial enough to be sold on their own merit (i.e., without the food). Ornamental containers are usually made of metal (e.g., cookie tins), plastic or glass (e.g., candy filled figurines). On the other hand, fabric-covered or embossed cardboard boxes for chocolates (e.g., for Valentines Day) are normally considered decorative rather than ornamental.

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