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Are e-commerce cheese products exempt from the FDA's Food Labeling requirements?

FDA Food Labeling E-Commerce Nutrition Labeling

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swarren

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 06:20 PM

For E-commerce (direct-to-consumer), would cut cheese be exempt from the FDA's Food Labeling requirements?



Scampi

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 06:23 PM

nope, but you could do it as an insert instead of directly on the packaging


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swarren

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 06:37 PM

Thanks for your response. Is e-commerce not exempt based on 21 CFR § 101.9(j) where it says "The following foods are exempt... (ii) Served in other establishments in which food is served for immediate human consumption (e.g., ... food delivery systems or establishments where ready-to-eat foods are delivered to homes...)" ?



Scampi

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 06:42 PM

no, neither of those exceptions are direct to consumer, which is what you'll be doing

 

 

If you were selling it to say hello fresh as an ingredient for them to use, they would make the information available based off a serving size of the finished product

 

but since you've said you're product IS the finished product being sold directly to the consumer, you must provide it


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swarren

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 06:59 PM

Thank you again for your insight. I see also on the FDA Food Labeling guide, under Summary of Exemption: "Delicatessen-type food, bakery products and confections that are sold directly to consumers from the location where prepared." Does this not apply?



Scampi

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 07:07 PM

No, that pertains to retail or chocolate shops/bakeries (and they are still required to post/have available, the information)

 

You can run of the ingredients and NFT info from a regular printer and include it in the box

 

 

Perhaps in another 50 years, they will update the regulatory framework to cover this stuff, but until then, part of your job is to protect your consumers  (as #1) and the company as #2------------and by default, your own pocket book, by protecting your own job

 

 

Are you shipping across state lines?   


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swarren

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 07:17 PM

You have been very helpful. We do plan to ship across state lines, and we want to ensure we are following all rules and regulations.

 

I have one more question- what exemption is used for grocery stores that sell cheese that is cut on-site in the deli? I see cheeses sold as such without nutrition labeling.



kfromNE

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 07:32 PM

You have been very helpful. We do plan to ship across state lines, and we want to ensure we are following all rules and regulations.

 

I have one more question- what exemption is used for grocery stores that sell cheese that is cut on-site in the deli? I see cheeses sold as such without nutrition labeling.

Grocery stores fall under the state food code laws (under different FDA laws). Selling on-line or across state lines - federal food laws. For example - I work at a food processing plant. Our products are shipped to a warehouse. We are under federal guidelines. The warehouse then ships our item to the different grocery stores in an 8 state region - the warehouse is under federal guidelines. The individual grocery stores that then sell our product - state food code laws.  

 

Like Scampi said - the only way a nutritional label is not required - if the item is considered food service.

 

Also - you must label it milk not cheese on the ingredient list to follow the allergy guidelines.

 

Since you are new to this - with your label - font size, size of the label on the package, etc - all matter.

 

You'll also need to register your facility with the FDA. To get help with all these rules/regulations - contact your state land grant university. Specifically the food processing center at the university.


Edited by kfromNE, 19 July 2021 - 07:35 PM.


swarren

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 05:16 PM

Can you clarify about grocery stores? Do they not count as a "retail establishment," which is addressed in 21 CFR § 101.9(j) and other FDA codes.



Scampi

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 05:50 PM

IF the grocery store cut an entire block of cheese into wedges, they may or may not have to include the NFT, depending on the state. 

The original wheel of cheese(having crossed state lines) would have HAD to include NFT

 

If you are selling a case of pieces of cheese to a grocery store AND they are wrapped for RETAIL, then they must be labeled (assuming state lines are crossed)

 

If you are selling a WHEEL of cheese for the grocer to cut down to sell pieces AND use some of it for food service, no NFT/Ingredient label required

 

For reference, the USA has one of the most convoluted set of laws out there due to it not being a country (legally speaking) and actually a republic, but I digress


Edited by Scampi, 23 July 2021 - 05:50 PM.

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kfromNE

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 06:16 PM

Can you clarify about grocery stores? Do they not count as a "retail establishment," which is addressed in 21 CFR § 101.9(j) and other FDA codes.

I'd have to look more into the regulations again to best answer your question. Grocery stores do fall under FDA state inspection.

 

My advice - look at similar businesses (e-commerce businesses) and see what they do. Or ask the state health inspector or the food processing center at your state land grant university. From previous experience, very few inspectors will question a reputable source from a land grant university. (Often times, these same professors are the ones training the inspectors).







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