Performance Improvement 2005. Prevalence of Food Safety, Quality, and Other Consumer Statements on Labels of Processed, Packaged Foods


In accordance with FDA’s mission to promote and protect the nation’s food supply by ensuring that it is safe, wholesome, sanitary, and honestly labeled, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition monitors the food industry’s response to food labeling regulations through the Food Label and Package Survey (FLAPS). FLAPS data characterize the presence of food safety and other information for the consumer. Major findings included the following: (1) The labels of close to one-third of the food products sold in the United States include statements about refrigeration, but the words “ to maintain safety” are not present, even though FDA guidance indicates the importance of including them. (2) Consumers are concerned that labels contain information to alert allergic individuals to the presence of food allergens but very few labels voluntarily bear such information. (3) Regulations do not require food manufacturers to provide information on bioengineered ingredients, and very few manufacturers voluntarily do so. 4) Pasteurization is used to kill pathogens that could cause injury or death, and regulations require a warning statement on the label of juice products that have not been pasteurized or otherwise processed to prevent, reduce or eliminate pathogenic microorganisms. Over half of juices have a statement that they are pasteurized. (5) Few foods contain information to cook foods thoroughly or to use a thermometer. (6) The food label can be used as an educational tool and will be one of the primary vehicles to provide critical information to the consumer.

PIC ID: 5711.4; Agency Sponsor: FDA-CFSAN, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; Federal Contact: Spease, Carol, 301-436-1787; Performer: FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Washington, DC

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