Are there any interesting developments on the horizon for the US, and what key dates should businesses be aware of?
Although regulations are always subject to amendments, it’s vital to learn about potential changes in the US that could impact brands and manufacturers from a product information, labeling, and packaging perspective. So, what can we expect to hear more about in the next year?
As of January 2022, there are no major compliance changes coming into force or any new FDA labeling requirements that brands must act on this year. However, there have been developments and updates made to certain labeling laws that brands may need to start preparing for soon.
Sesame Allergen Labelling
Compliance Date | January 1, 2023
- Under the FASTER Act of 2021, Sesame is being added as the 9th major food allergen effective from January 1, 2023. Until this date, manufacturers do not by law have to list it as an allergen, although in most cases it will already appear in the ingredients statement. The exemption to this is when it is included under headings like “flavoring”, “spice” and when the product’s common or usual name is not sesame, i.e. “tahini” (which is made from sesame seeds).
- Due to the fact that it is possible that sesame is not listed in ingredients until next year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance to encourage manufacturers to voluntarily identify all ingredients that contain sesame – including when it is used as a “flavoring” or “spice”, or when the common or usual name (tahini) does not specify it. This guidance will ultimately help to protect consumers who are allergic or sensitive to sesame and make it apparent to them that a product contains it.
FDA Uniform Compliance Date
Compliance Date | January 1, 2024
The FDA periodically announces uniform compliance dates for new food labeling requirements to minimize the economic impact on the food industry of responding separately to each labeling change. The FDA generally encourages the industry to comply with new regulations as quickly as possible.
The FDA recently announced that January 1, 2024 will be the next compliance date for final food labeling regulations that are issued in calendar years 2021 and 2022 (this action does not change existing requirements for compliance dates contained in final rules published before January 1, 2021).
All food products subject to the next uniform compliance date must comply with the appropriate labeling regulations when they are initially introduced into interstate commerce on, or after, January 1 2024.
For some food labeling regulations, the FDA will set a compliance date that differs from the uniform compliance date if special circumstances justify another compliance date. The specific compliance date is published when a final regulation is issued.