What Regulations Apply for Labeling Net Weight Contents on Packaging?
What is the rule for labeling net weight contents on a package? Is there a minimum weight that we can package a product? Specifically, the product is frozen desert cake.
Regulations for labeling food products, including requirements for net quantity of content statement, can be found in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 101. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also published an Industry Guidance on food labeling that was updated in April 2008.
There are no regulations on the minimum weight of a food package. However, packaged food is considered misbranded unless its label bears an accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count. In addition, FDA issued a regulation on food package size in relation to net contents or "slack-fill," which became effective on January 5, 1994. "Slack-fill" is defined as the difference between the actual capacity of a container and the volume of product contained therein, and "nonfunctional slack-fill" is defined as the empty space in a package that is filled to substantially less than its capacity. FDA prohibits nonfunctional slack-fill except under certain conditions. One of these is when a manufacturer cannot increase the level of fill or reduce the size of the package (e.g., where a minimum package size is necessary to accommodate required food labeling, discourage pilfering, facilitate handling, or accommodate tamper-resistant devices).