The FDA website informs us that “The Food and Drug Administration is the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the U.S. federal government.” It has been regulating food production and delivery practices and enforcing food laws for over a century. The agency’s requirements for proper food labeling have been giving food producers a headache because of their complexity, but the consumers definitely benefit from their rigorous standards.
The FDA provides strict guidelines on how to label a food product, so that it includes important information about its contents: the percentage of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, calories, the list of all ingredients, including and clearly identifying any potential allergens, the origin of food or the address of the manufacturer/distributor, etc. Conscientious food producers often include non-mandatory but useful information such as “best before” date, information about whether it’s “washed” or “ready-to-eat”, health claims, recipes, defrosting instructions and other helpful tips.
The FDA is constantly improving their website with news and tips about food safety. Looking after the consumers’ best interests, it is now proposing changes to current food labeling regulations to include more accurate information about the serving size, added sugar, etc. Before that happens, everyone concerned about healthy nutrition and food safety should become better informed about what they are eating, and the best way to start is to find out how to read food labels and read this simple guide to food labeling requirements.
Thank you, Angela Gomez, for bringing this ebook to my attention and writing this blog post (all except the first paragraph). Readers can access and download this free ebook at http://www.