U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that the standard compliance date for the final food labeling regulations that are issued in the years 2023 and 2024 will be January 1, 2026.
The agency often publishes consistent compliance dates for new food labeling rules to reduce the economic burden on the food sector of having to react separately to each labeling change.
By giving enough advance time to plan for the use of existing label inventories and the development of new labeling materials, the use of a standard compliance date enables the industry to adapt to new labeling regulations systematically and cost-effectively.
The FDA generally urges businesses to adhere to new labeling standards as soon as feasible.
To be initially introduced into interstate commerce on or after January 1, 2024, all food products subject to the uniform compliance date must adhere to the necessary labeling rules.
If unusual circumstances warrant a separate compliance date for some food labeling laws, the FDA will determine a compliance date that differs from the standard compliance date.
When a final regulation is released, the precise compliance date is disclosed.
According to the FDA, this action is not intended to alter the compliance deadlines specified in final regulations that were issued before January 1, 2023.
One such regulation is the labeling of sesame as a major food allergen whose compliance date had been set for January 1, 2023.
Sesame is joining the list of major food allergens defined in the law as the result of the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, which was signed into law on April 23, 2021. Sesame joins eight other major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.
“We remind consumers that foods already in interstate commerce before 2023, including those on retail shelves, do not need to be removed from the marketplace or relabeled to declare sesame as an allergen,” the FDA said.
The FDA generally encourages the industry to comply with new labeling regulations as quickly as feasible. However, all food products subject to January 1, 2026, uniform compliance date must comply with the appropriate labeling regulations when initially introduced into interstate commerce on or after January 1, 2026.
For some food labeling regulations, the FDA will set a compliance date that differs from the uniform compliance date if special circumstances justify doing so. The specific compliance date is published when a final regulation is issued.