The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that you should have less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. If you are over 51 or have some health concerns such as high blood pressure or diabetes, then the recommended amount is 1,500 mg a day.
The Mayo Clinic reports that Americans consume an average of 3,400 mg of sodium a day, most of which comes from processed foods. So how can you be ‘salt savvy’ when shopping? They recommend that you read the food label and understand what the following FDA mandated nutritional claims mean:
Sodium-free: less than 5 mg per serving
Very low sodium: 35 mg or less per serving
Low sodium: 140 mg or less per serving
Reduced Sodium: Sodium has been reduced by 25% from regular version
Light in Sodium: Sodium has been reduced by 50% from regular version
Unsalted: Doesn't mean “sodium-free”, just hasn't had any salt added to the processing
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is requesting food nutrition information available to schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program (“SMPs”). According to the Federal Register dated 8/19/2011, “FNS is interested in examining what nutrition information and ingredient lists are made available to schools, the manner and scope of the information’s accessibility, and how that information and accessibility compare with the information schools may be seeking” in hopes to better understand how schools are currently deciding how to plan their menus and buy their foods.
Are you thinking about putting a new pet food on the market? Maybe dog bones or cat treats? There is certain criteria that you should be aware of when it comes to the labeling. According to the FDA, “pet food labeling is regulated at two levels. The federal regulations, enforced by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…some states also enforce their own labeling regulations. Many states have adopted the model pet food regulations established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). ”
FDA regulations include: proper identification of product, net quantity statement (how much is in the container), manufacturers name and address and a proper list of ingredients.
Many states requirements include: product name (governed by four AAFCO rules regarding percentages of named ingredient in the total product), guaranteed analysis, nutritional adequacy statement, feeding directions and a calorie statement – all of which are dictated by the AAFCO.
Other label claim regulations to be aware of are the terms “natural” and “organic”. The AAFCO has developed a definition and guidelines for what types of ingredients can be considered “natural.” There are currently no rules governing the term “organic” but the USDA is currently working on establishing what kind of synthetic additives can be in pet food that is labeled “organic.”
Before you print your labels, know the federal and state laws that you will need to comply with; it could save you from an unnecessary costly reprint.
For over 15 years the upscale upper-west side market, Zabars, has sold their Lobster salad to unaware New Yorkers and it took Doug MacCash, a vacationing reporter from New Orleans, to notice the familiar crayfish taste when he ordered one of the popular salads on a bagel. Turns out the expensive lobster salad has absolutely no lobster in it, but made with fresh water crayfish. Yesterday, in a New York Times article, Dane Somers, Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Council, said this kind of problem comes up about a dozen times a year, “sometimes it’s using lobster substitutes.”
Ever wonder what is in your favorite foods? People getting their favorite foods tested for allergens and purity claims is a growing trend that we see, because you just never know… lobster might not be in the lobster salad.
Today, the FDA announced the reopening of the comment period for their proposed rule on Gluten-Free Labeling from January 23, 2007 (72 FR 2795), in an effort to better define “gluten-free.”
Also up for comments is the FDA’s report titled, “Health Hazard Assessment for Effects of Gluten Exposure in Individuals with Celiac Disease: Determination of Tolerable Daily Intake Levels and Levels of Concern for Gluten” (“Gluten Report”). Comments are requested on whether or not this assessment should affect the final definition of Gluten-Free.