Language selection

Search

Legibility and location of food labelling information
Location Requirements

General

The label of a prepackaged food must be applied or attached in such a manner that the label is still applied or attached at the time it is sold. All or part of the label of a consumer prepackaged food must be applied to the principal display surface (definition) [225, 227(1), SFCR].

Generally, commodity-specific information required by Division 3 of Part 11 of the SFCR for prepackaged foods may appear on any part of the label other than solely on the bottom (definition) of the container, unless otherwise specified [245(2) and (3), SFCR].

Specific location information for some core labelling requirements is outlined in the table below. Note that the term "prepackaged (definition)" encompasses both "consumer prepackaged" and "prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged". For more information, refer to Definition of "prepackaged" and "consumer prepackaged".

Requirement Location on label of prepackaged food
Common name

On principal display panel

B.01.006(1), FDR
218(1)(a), SFCR

Net quantity

Consumer prepackaged
On principal display panel

Prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged
On any part of the label other than solely on the bottom of the container. Exceptions apply for processed fruit or vegetable products and some prepackaged fish products [265, 272(1)(a), SFCR].

221, 245(2) and (3), SFCR

List of ingredients

On any part of the label other than solely on the bottom of the container

B.01.005, B.01.008, FDR
218(1)(c), SFCR

Durable life date

On any panel, including the bottom if accompanied by a statement that indicates information is located on the bottom. Exceptions apply.

B.01.005(4), B.01.007, FDR

Name and principal place of business

On any part of the label other than solely on the bottom of the container

B.01.005, FDR
218(1)(b) and (2), SFCR

Nutrition labelling

The Nutrition Facts table must be on one continuous surface of the available display surface (ADS). See nutrition labelling for more information.

B.01.005(5), B.01.451, FDR

It is important to note that additional location requirements may exist for other labelling topics, including those for specific commodities. For more information, refer to the Industry Labelling Tool.

Grouping of mandatory information

Section B.01.008 of the FDR states that all mandatory information required by the FDR must appear grouped together on any part of the label, unless it is information which is required to be shown on the principal display panel or information which is specifically exempted from the grouping provisions stated in B.01.008(1)(a) of the FDR (e.g., the name and principal place of business of the responsible party, the durable life date information, the Nutrition Facts table, and regulated nutrient content claims and health claims). If the product is required to carry a list of ingredients, the information which is required to be grouped together on that product's label must be grouped with the list of ingredients.

Specific cases

Use of display cards as labels

In the case of a consumer prepackaged food whose container is mounted on a display card, the label may be applied to the surface of the display card that is displayed or visible under customary conditions of sale or use [228, SFCR].

Use of hang tags as labels

Generally, mandatory information that is required to be on the principal display panel (PDP) is not permitted to be located on a tag, unless the container does not have a surface that is displayed or visible under customary conditions of sale or use to which a label can be applied (e.g., foil wrapped milk chocolate eggs in a mesh bag). In this case, mandatory information required on the PDP may be included on one side of a tag that is attached to the container, as this is considered to be the principal display surface (definition) [1, SFCR].

Similarly, in the case of a container that is a wrapper or confining band so narrow in relation to the size of the food that it cannot reasonably be considered to have any surface that is displayed or visible under customary conditions of sale or use, mandatory information required to be on the PDP may be located on one side of a hang tag [1, SFCR].

Ornamental containers

In the case of ornamental containers (definition), it is acceptable for mandatory information to be located on the bottom panel [227(2), SFCR].

Reverse side or pull-out portion of label

As a general rule, mandatory information is not considered readily discernible to a purchaser when it is on the reverse side or "outsert" or pull-out portion of the label (a folded or inserted panel under the label of a product), regardless of whether there is an instruction for the consumer such as "peel back here", or "lift this panel for more information" indicating that the consumer needs to peel the label off the container to read the reverse side. It is acceptable, however, to use the pull-out part of the label for information that is not mandatory.

Irregularly shaped packages

Mandatory information may become obscured by applying a label to an irregularly shaped package or product (e.g., a square label which has taken the shape of the spherical object to which it is applied); as such, these packages may not meet the legibility and location requirements of section 208 of the SFCR and section A.01.016 of the FDR.

For containers with no definable bottom, mandatory information may appear on any panel, other than specific mandatory information that is required to be shown on the principal display panel.

Additional location requirements may exist for specific commodities. For more information, refer to the food-specific labelling requirements in the Industry Labelling Tool.

Date modified: