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angle-left ADVISORY: Health Canada Sets New Front-of Package (FOP) Nutrition Symbol

A new symbol will need to be put on the front of packaged foods that are high in saturated fat, sugars, and/or sodium, according to new nutrition labeling laws for pre-packaged foods since July 20, 2022, according to Canada's Health Ministry.

The new nutrition symbol features a magnifying glass and text to draw attention to foods high in saturated fat, sugar and/or sodium to help Canadians make informed decision about their food.  Health Canada said the magnifying glass label is intended to complement the Nutrition Facts table displayed on the back of food packages.

Photo:  Health Canada

Foods that require the front-of-package nutrition symbol include:

  1. Common pre-packaged foods that meet or exceed 15% of the daily value of saturated fat, sugars or sodium.  Food in this category include meat such as sliced ​​hams and sausages, frozen desserts and soups;
  2. Low-standard (less than or equal to 30 grams or 30 milliliters) that is equal to or exceed 10% of the recommended daily intake of saturated fat, sugar, or sodium. This include pickles, salad dressings, cookies, breakfast cereals, etc; and
  3. Pre-packaged with a reference amount of greater than or equal to 200 grams or more, or equal to or exceed the 30% of the daily value of one of the nutrients. These products have a higher threshold because they are consumed as a main dish and may be expected to make up more of a consumer’s daily nutrients. This include frozen lasagna, meat pie or pizza products.

Foods exempted from the new regulation are recognized as having a health protection benefit for the whole population or vulnerable sub-populations. Some products in the exempt category include whole or cut vegetables and fruits that are fresh, frozen, canned or dried; 2% and whole milk; eggs; foods with a healthy fat profile like vegetable oils, nuts and fatty fish; and any combination of these foods.  Plain yogurt and cheese also are exempted because they are considered important sources of calcium.

Manufacturers will have until 01 January 2026 to change labels on pre-packaged foods to comply to the new requirement.

Source:  Health Canada