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Is overweight allowed and underweight not allowed according to US regulation?

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Aleph

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Posted 09 August 2023 - 07:46 AM

Is overweight allowed and underweight is not allowed according to US regulation. We have some product which is overweight by more than 20%, are we allowed to sell it or is this against any legal US rules? Thanks 

 



G M

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Posted 09 August 2023 - 02:08 PM

It depends on what the product is.  Most categories of food are only concerned with meeting a minimum -- you can give away as much as you like.

 

 

The regulations I am familiar with all use NIST handbook 133 as the 'external' measurements standard

 

https://www.nist.gov...current-edition



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Brothbro

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Posted 09 August 2023 - 03:51 PM

Like GM above, it's true that most categories are only concerned with being under-weight. You should determine the Maximum Allowable Variation (MAV) for your product and understand how far below this value your weights can run before being considered not in line with GMPs. Attached is a file that may help.

 

Some products pose a food safety risk to being over-filled, such as high filled weights or even drained weights in canned foods. It's up to you to understand whether your product is a food safety risk with a high weight.

Attached Files


Edited by Brothbro, 09 August 2023 - 03:52 PM.


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Setanta

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Posted 09 August 2023 - 08:15 PM

One issue I can think of with underweight product is cooking time. If something is really heavy, it may take longer to cook. Failure to reach the appropriate temp could be an issue. For people tracking nutritional information, it may affect things like blood sugars, carb counts, etc. If a package is listed as one serving, but if it closer to two...


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G M

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Posted 09 August 2023 - 08:57 PM

One issue I can think of with underweight product is cooking time. If something is really heavy, it may take longer to cook. Failure to reach the appropriate temp could be an issue. For people tracking nutritional information, it may affect things like blood sugars, carb counts, etc. If a package is listed as one serving, but if it closer to two...

 

Which is where the upper limit becomes a requirement for items like baby food, pharmaceuticals, dietary replacements etc.



SerenityNow!

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Posted 09 August 2023 - 11:40 PM

I have always reference NIST Handbook 133 and I use the MAV in both directions. NIST has some useful forms to reference as well in calculating the average of the lot and whether it passes. There many are reasons to control overweight product and I've always preferred stay in range of the net weight declaration and it's also important to consider how the nutrition facts can be affected by overages.  As there are people that need to watch consumption of specific nutrients, if the label is inaccurate regarding servings per container they can have more/less than expected.

 

Also, weights and measures do actually go out in the field and inspect products.  With a previous employer, we did get a notice.  It went through the customer carrying our product then to us. Just a thorn you'd be better off avoiding.

 

In all, I would lean towards your declared net contents should be accurate and truthful.



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Setanta

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Posted 10 August 2023 - 11:43 AM

Which is where the upper limit becomes a requirement for items like baby food, pharmaceuticals, dietary replacements etc.


Yes. We had no further information on the product being produced, so I made a general statement.

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jfrey123

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Posted 11 August 2023 - 04:17 AM

Traceability becomes a nightmare under this description...  Your invoices and BOL's show you send 1,000 1lb units to a customer, but production documents show you used 1,200lbs of raw material, so you proudly show your paperwork for the 1,000 1lb units during a traceability exercise or recall?  Not to mention the lost profits of overfilling by 20%.

 

I mean, I can't see where it's technically illegal to give someone more than they purchased, but the devil is in the details and this isn't a good practice.



G M

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Posted 14 August 2023 - 09:15 PM

Traceability becomes a nightmare under this description...  Your invoices and BOL's show you send 1,000 1lb units to a customer, but production documents show you used 1,200lbs of raw material, so you proudly show your paperwork for the 1,000 1lb units during a traceability exercise or recall?  Not to mention the lost profits of overfilling by 20%.

 

I mean, I can't see where it's technically illegal to give someone more than they purchased, but the devil is in the details and this isn't a good practice.

 

Just like floor loss or tankage, you're going to track overage or giveaway.  You of course want that number to be small, but a small giveaway is going to cause you fewer problems than being under and failing to meet regulatory requirements.   You just price your product accordingly with the various forms of "waste" factored in.

 

With some classes of product that have irregular shapes and sizes its inevitable.  Getting a sack of potatoes or apples to hit exactly 5# is going to be harder than flour or sugar.



kingstudruler1

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Posted 14 August 2023 - 11:12 PM

It might be a stretch, but does the overage cause your servings per container to inaccurate or misleading?  


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jfrey123

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Posted 15 August 2023 - 06:34 AM

Just like floor loss or tankage, you're going to track overage or giveaway.  You of course want that number to be small, but a small giveaway is going to cause you fewer problems than being under and failing to meet regulatory requirements.   You just price your product accordingly with the various forms of "waste" factored in.

 

With some classes of product that have irregular shapes and sizes its inevitable.  Getting a sack of potatoes or apples to hit exactly 5# is going to be harder than flour or sugar.

 

You're totally right, but I couldn't confirm from the post whether OP accounts for that type of loss.  If so, great.  If their overage calculations are from auditing internal records and not recorded during production like you describe, that's where the problem comes from.





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