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Front-of-package ‘warning’ labels coming to Canada

OTTAWA – According to Health Canada, foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar and / or sodium need to carry the label on the front package. The label will include a symbol of a magnifying glass, intended to attract people’s attention, and will act as a quick visual cue to identify foods high in nutrients.

The regulations will take effect on July 20, but food companies must comply by January 1, 2026.

“The new front-of-package label regulations will allow consumers to make informed decisions about their food,” said Marie-Claude Vievo, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “It also recognizes the nutritional value of certain foods that are unprocessed or just processed, such as calcium in dairy products. Processors have years to review their processes and in some cases improve their recipes.”

Foods that will require a nutrition symbol on the front of the package include packaged foods that meet or exceed 15% of the daily value of saturated fat, sugar, or sodium. Meals in this category include deli meats, soups, frozen desserts and puddings.

Pre-packaged foods with a small reference amount (30 grams or less or equal to 30 milliliters) that meet or exceed 10% of the daily value of one of the three nutrients must also carry the label on the front of the package. This type of food is pickles, salad dressings, cookies or breakfast cereals. Health Canada noted that since these foods are eaten in small amounts and contain concentrated sources of nutrients, their threshold is lower.

Frozen lasagna, meat pie or pizza products, which are referred to as prepackaged staple foods with a reference amount of more than 200 grams or equivalent and 30% or more of the daily value of one of the nutrients, will also need to be carried. New label. According to Health Canada, these products have a high threshold because they are eaten as a staple food and consumers can be expected to make more of the daily nutrition.

Foods exempt from the new rules are recognized as having health protection benefits for the entire population or the weaker sub-population. Some products in the exempt category include whole or chopped vegetables and fruits that are fresh, frozen, canned or dried; 2% and whole milk; Eggs; Healthy fatty foods such as vegetable oils, nuts and fatty fish; And no combination of these foods.

Ordinary yogurt and cheese are also exempt because they are considered important sources of calcium. Raw, single-ingredient ground meats and poultry have received a waiver to avoid giving the impression that they will not need to carry the nutrition symbol that is inferior to the whole cut.

Health Canada added that if foods are made with ingredients that contain saturated fats, sugars and / or sodium, they will lose their discount.

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