Food Labeling

The label on a food product is a legal document that is used by the processor to share information to the consumer. This information must be truthful and accurate. The number one reason for recalls of food products is a misleading, inaccurate, or missing information on the label.

All food products must have a Nutrition Facts panel, that summarizes the nutrient content of the food. Small food companies are allowed an exemption by FDA, however, If a health claim is made, i.e. “heart healthy”, then the product must have a Nutrition Facts panel. Additionally, most consumers expect this information on a food product so it’s not really a benefit to the small food company to use this exemption.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requirements for the format or layout of the label for specific content as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations (21 C.F.R. §§ 101.1–101.9). Although FDA does not require prior label approval, New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations require prior approval of labels before printing. Specific labeling information can be found at:

Questions concerning the labeling of food products may also be directed to:

Division of Programs and Enforcement Policy
Office of Food Labeling Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration
200 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20204
Phone: 202-205-5229