In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration began exploring the possibility of updating the original regulations on label requirements for breath mints from 1993. This week, the agency has finally issued fresh regulation for how to label mints, calling the original 1993 ruling "outdated."
Why it took 17 years to reach a decision on the characteristics of breath mint labels is unknown, but the new regulations will impact manufacturers of breath-freshening products of all sorts, and underlines the importance of manufacturers being able to quickly react to changes.
The agency's research found that breath mints have RACCs (reference amount customarily consumed, or serving size) that vary widely from product to product. As a result, instead of listing the nutritional facts on a basis such as "per gram," manufacturers will now be asked to list nutritional facts on a "per unit" basis, meaning the nutritional content of one mint. This seems logical, as mints represent a range of sizes, from the tiny Tic-Tac to a more considerable Life-Saver.
In the FDA's news release, the Federal Trade Commission argued that the labeling changes should help consumers with "comparing foods of different portion sizes."
The newly released 145-page regulation on labeling breath mints shows that manufacturers in the food industry need to be able to quickly react to changes in labeling regulation, as they can come at any time, even 17 years after the FDA proposes to review the subject.
Fortunately, with printing solutions from DuraFast, producers can be prepared for any labeling changes. Investing in in-house product label printing abilities allows an organization to experiment with different labeling strategies as well as react quickly to any changes in legislation. Violation of labeling requirements can not only come with significant financial penalties, it can also tarnish consumer perception if products are forced to be recalled.