4 Reasons Why You Should Be Making Your Own Food & Beverage Labels

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

Many companies outsource their product labels to save financially and produce efficiently. But is outsourcing really the most efficient route? For small to medium sized business owners, outsourcing is not always the best solution. Depending on your business size and needs, you may be better off making your own food & beverage labels in-house.

Impression Technology Europe explains, “Recently, another type of printing has become more attainable for smaller companies…digital ‘short run’ label printers. Not only is the initial investment much more affordable but the cost per print is extremely low. After doing the math, most clients will find it will be much more cost effective than outsourcing and based on the output.”

How do you know if this is right for you? Here are four reasons why you should be making your own food & beverage labels in-house:

1. Outsourced Printing Comes at a Price

We mean that both literally and figuratively. While using another facility to generate your food labels might seem like weight off your shoulders, that may not be the case.

Passing the task to an outside source can end up severely delaying your labeling process. Why? Not only will you have your company’s shipping schedule to track, but the arrival of your outsourced shipment as well.

If an outsourced shipment becomes delayed, so will the orders your company was originally scheduled to deliver. For small business owners, this can lead to a lot of unhappy customers or market vendors.

These delays will happen, and so do errors. Labeling errors can take more of a toll on your business production line than a delay in shipment.

The unexpected misprint forces your business to return and reorder labels. Misprints can cause setbacks and affect the use by/sell by dates on your products. This is especially true for made to order businesses, which can lead to wasted products.

If your business has experienced these delays, you may want to consider an in-house or on-demand label printer. With the ability to print labels in your own facility, there will be no more error or shipment delays affecting your product line. What’s more, these printers give you the ability to create your own use by/sell by dates with complete label customization.

2. Not All Environments Are Created Equal

Making your own food & beverage labels is also a huge plus when selling products that must be stored in specific environmental requirements.

It’s important for frozen foods to have unique and attractive labels, too. After all, it is your brand. But, it’s equally important that your frozen food labels don’t fail. Using the wrong label can lead to wrinkles due to condensation, fading due to exposure or loss of adhesion, falling off in low temperatures. One should not be sacrificed for the other.

If your business is using regular pre-printed labels, chances are, the labels won’t hold up in your storage environment.

The ability to maintain complete control over your label materials and printing process will allow your business to have a streamlined, efficient process with branded labels that look the part.

An easy in-house printing solution is QuickLabel’s Kiaro! or Kiaro! D inkjet label printers. Both printers are known for printing frozen food labels that don’t peel off in high-quality 1200 dpi imagery.

With the right in-house printer, you’ll have professional frozen food or beverage labels printed instantly and can be applied to products that are already frozen, or before they go into the freezer.

You can check out both options here.

3. Keep Up with FDA Regulations

Of course, keeping up with the FDA’s changing regulations and formats can greatly affect your product labels.

The intimidating process includes font restrictions, mandatory statements, allergen alerts and difficult calculations for daily values.

As a food manufacturer, you want to spend your energy on your recipes, production, branding and sales – not on interpreting FDA labeling mandates or trying to explain the requirements to an outside vendor.

However, it is absolutely necessary to adhere to FDA regulations to avoid recalls and present your customer with the quality and transparency they deserve.

An in-house label printer is especially valuable in these situations. For every change, the label design and format can be immediately customized in your own facility.

What’s more, by owning an in-house label printer, you don’t have to worry about overstock or wasted labels due to changes in regulations. This gives you more flexibility in your printing process, introducing the option of seasonal or promotional runs.

Making your own food & beverage labels gives you the ability to print the exact number of labels you need for what’s in-stock, on-demand.

4. You Deserve to Be In Control of Your Business

Your labels are the face of your brand, so you always want to put your best foot forward.

With outsourced labels, you don’t get to have complete control over your labeling process. Edits take longer, shipments get delayed and labels are bound to be wasted.

In-house printing has evolved with small, tabletop label printers for businesses. These label printers serve as a central database, with the ability to store, revise, locate and print any design on-demand –ultimately opening new doors for small to medium sized businesses.

If you want to be in control of your business or are experiencing any of the above labeling issues, it may be time to consider taking your production line in-house.

QuickLabel specializes in on-demand, tabletop label printers. For someone in the food and beverage industry interested in quality, short-run labels, they are worth looking in to.

Click here to view our full product lineup, or contact us for more information!

 

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In-House Label Printers Are a Huge Benefit for University and College Dining Food

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

Did you know that printing labels in-house can save you time and money? When you need to mass produce your food selection, taking control of your labeling process can be a huge benefit for university and college dining food.

When relying on an outside print-house you have to keep track of your label inventory. Do you have enough chicken salad labels, or are you running out? You probably order thousands of pre-printed labels that take up valuable storage space.

There are many benefits of printing your own labels, especially in the prepared food industry:

  • Precisely print 3-point font to list every ingredient & vitamin percentage
  • Create use-by dates for perishable prepared foods on an as-needed basis
  • Additionally print barcodes, expiration dates and prices

jodys_labelsPrinting your own university and college dining food labels is a great idea, but it can also become a costly process. It takes a lot to create your product, package it, include the correct nutrition facts, have the correct barcode and make sure you have enough labels in stock.

With QuickLabel color label systems, your process gets a whole lot easier.

No longer will you have to wait for your pre-printed label orders or deal with the chaos of misprints. QuickLabel printers allow you to easily print your own food labels, including nutrition facts, barcodes, pricing, expiration dates and stunning imagery all in one round.

University and College Dining Services Departments across the USA are printing their own custom food labels for sandwiches, salads, snacks and other prepared foods using a desktop QuickLabel color label printer.

QuickLabel offers a variety of color label printers, varying from label width, length, and speed.

With QuickLabel inkjet label printers, you can easily find the right fit, instantly printing food labels in short runs for all campus special events – holidays, sporting events, fundraisers, camps, conferences, and campus activities. Pair your new food creations and familiar menu-favorites with brilliant customized labels that you design yourself, right in your kitchen or office.img_8861

Using our label printers, you can specialize in printing vibrant, beautiful color food labels that attract diners. Our selection prints from 300 to 1600 dpi quality for lavish and appetizing images.

It’s also versatile enough to print basic one-color or solid full-bleed labels for any color combination. And of course, it can print barcodes, expiration dates, and prices!

Hear for yourself!

Dave’s Marketplace is Rhode Island’s largest independent grocer, and prints hundreds of thousands of food labels for its produce and prepared foods with the Kiaro! color label printer. See what they had to say:

“It’s a fabulous machine. I don’t know how I did some of the stuff I did without it… From a design standpoint right down to final production – it will produce anything you want.”
– Steve Alfaia, POS Coordinator & Graphic Designer, Dave’s Marketplace

With us, you can create quality labels that help you stand out from the competition.

See our full list of customer testimonials to learn more.

Because our label printers print in up to an astonishing 1600 dpi, you can print the most intricate, readable barcodes for any P.O.S. The fine detail is perfect for nutrition labels which contain a lot of information in a small amount of space. QuickLabel printers can even print 3-point font so you can list every ingredient, and every vitamin percentage, on every one of your university and college dining food options.ql_111_800_kiaro

The ability to print in 300-1600dpi with excellent precision ensures the quality of your label, ultimately catching the eyes of consumers with its stunning and completely customizable design.

QuickLabel not only provides all the requirements for your prepared food & beverage labels, we make your products look great!

With over 40 years of experience and reliability, we have the resources to guarantee the best quality product on the market.

Improve your work flow today and see for yourself! Schedule an in-person demonstration with us.

One of our trained technicians will come to your facility and use your artwork to print your labels on one of our QuickLabel printers.

Or, contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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Browndog Creamery Keeps it Cool with the Kiaro!

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

Browndog Creamery’s Micro Batch Gourmet Ice Cream Meets Micro Batch Label Printing

With an ever-changing variety of ice cream flavors as evocative as Dragon Bite, Tuscan Sun, Buttered Berry Brioche, and French Press Mocha, the owners of Browndog Creamery needed a labeling solution that could adapt to label changes on-the-fly.

For example, they may need 20  labels for Triple Vanilla this morning, and 15 for Mystery Cookie this afternoon.  Luckily for owners Brian Scherle and Paul Gabriel, they found the Kiaro! label printer to print labels for their pints of ice cream on demand, in the exact quantity that they need.

Watch How Browndog Uses the Kiaro! for All Their Gourmet Creations:

Browndog Creamery, a “micro-creamery” located in the heart of downtown Northville Michigan, west of Detroit, brings customers delicious and unique handcrafted ice creams.

Being a micro-creamery, as explained by co-owner Paul Gabriel, “basically means that we make our ice cream in very small batches. We’re not a mass factory where we make thousands of gallons of ice cream. We make about four or five gallons at a time for each flavor.”

Browndog Creamery’s unique flavor combinations are all created in-house by Gabriel and Scherle. “I always tell people I refuse to make butter pecan, so instead we make a bourbon pecan,” said Gabriel. “For our Cinco de Mayo we made a Holy Guacamole ice cream, and that’s the type of stuff that we really like: the really unique, creative stuff that you’re not going to find anywhere else. “

The Perfect Label For Every Single Batch

Browndog rotates flavors of ice creams so frequently because each batch made in their micro-creamery is only a few gallons. Even before they opened their business, they knew that using pre-printed labels wouldn’t make any sense, because buying minimum orders of labels would lead to excessive costs and way too much label inventory for their small backroom.

gourmet ice cream labels“I knew we would be running small batches of ice cream and I didn’t want to take an inventory of a hundred or a thousand labels of one flavor because I knew we might only need ten,” said Gabriel. “The Kiaro! has been a wonderful fit in our business to allow us to make these very small run labels and customize them to everything that we needed to do.”

“Being able to create products and without having to go to a mass printing,” has been a boon to business said Scherle. “Using the Kiaro! printer to label our ice cream, and to create amazing and attractive packaging is just part and parcel of creating our products.”

Scherle described his first impressions of the Kiaro!, “When it was delivered I found that it’s bright purple. Upon seeing it, I was pleasantly surprised that the Kiaro! looks as fun as it is to use.  It’s a good addition to our shop.”

Kiaro! Labels Handle Freezing Temps  

One of Browndog’s chief concerns was whether or not their Kiaro! labels would stand up to the freezing temperatures necessary for storing ice cream.

“The synthetic material that we use for the pint labels is pretty resistant to water best label printerand we actually label the pints after they’ve gone through the freezing process,” said Gabriel.  “We were a little skeptical about how they would adhere to a frozen pint, but the Kiaro! labels do quite well.”

“It’s surprising how fast the printer is,” said Gabriel.  “We have taught some of our employees how to use the Kiaro! and besides its flexibility and other benefits, it’s also very easy to use. The first time one of our managers used it she thought, ‘oh goodness I have to print out 150 labels that’s going to take all day’ and they started to come out and she was trying hard to keep up with the printer, and roll labels up so they weren’t all over the floor, it was actually quite humorous,” added Scherle. “The print speed is amazing.”

More Questions About Label Printing?

Read here how the Kiaro! digital label printer lets you print gorgeous labels, while reducing excess label inventory, saving you time, and allowing you to make more money. The Kiaro! gives you control over your entire labeling process, and allows you to more affordably label your products.

Or, give us a call, send us an email, or schedule your own Kiaro! demonstration today!

About Browndog Creamery…

frozen food label printerBrowndog Creamery is a gourmet ice cream shop and dessert bar on East Main St. in Northville, MI. “Browndog started off as an ice cream line,  but we also now have a retail space where we sell t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and gift cards; along with our own unique blend of coffee,” said co-owner Brian Scherle. “Plus, we now have a pastry chef who is making anything from a simple ice cream cakes all the way up to wedding cakes and specialized cookies, so we’re becoming a full-fledged creamery and dessert bar.”

Stop by their gourmet ice cream shop and dessert bar on 118 East Main St. in Northville, MI, visit them on Facebook, follow them on twitter @browndogcreamery, and stop by their website Browndogcreamery.com

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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Important Changes for Food Labeling Requirements in European Union

Posted on by David Golding

800px-Flag_of_Europe.svg[1]Important Information: EU Food Labeling Regulations

There are several new changes to food labeling requirements in the European Union, and we’ve compiled information to make you aware of them, and more importantly, to help you comply with them – whether you are based in Europe, or exporting to a European country.

There are three things customers generally look for when they’re purchasing food: quality, safety, and security. You have the quality aspect down pat, but the safety and security part is receiving some changes that are crucial to be aware of.

Quick Overview of New EU Food Label Regulation

The new EU Regulation 1169/2011 is making some important changes on legislation for requirements about information on food labels such as origin information/provenance of animals for meats, allergen information, and more specific fat to collagen ratios for minced meats to consumers.

Allergy Amendments

Legislation ensuring that allergy information is overtly displayed on all food labels will come into effect on December 13, 2014. This upcoming legislative change states that separate allergy boxes are no longer allowed.

Example of what is now NOT allowed
Example of what is now NOT allowed

That is, a separate area for only allergy contents will be prohibited, and in its stead, those contents will be contained in the ingredients list either in bold, highlighted, or printed in a contrasting color.

Country of Origin Meat Labeling/Provenance Labeling Amendments

One extremely important amendment that was implemented recently (on December 13, 2013) regards the “mandatory origin labeling of unprocessed meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry,” according to official European Commission (EC) website. Another small, yet important amendment, implemented on January 1, 2014, outlines requirements concerning the designation of “minced meat.”

The minced meat requirements dictate that both the percentage of fat must appear on the label, as well as the collagen to meat ratio. Exact numbers can be found on Annex VI, Part B of the full regulation description.

How to Make EU Allergy Labels

The part of these new EU food labeling regulations that applies to the majority of food producers is the fact that you will have to clearly present allergen information on your label if your product has any of the 14 recognized allergens.

You must highlight each allergen so that it catches the eye of a consumer.

It is up to the food producer to determine how to highlight the presence of an allergen on the food label ingredients list, but options are likely to include the use of text in a contrasting color and boldface type.

There are also minimum font sizes and phrases that should be used. The 14 food allergens recognized by the EU are as follows:

  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Celery
  • Crustaceans
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Lupin (plant in the legume family)
  • Milk
  • Mollusks
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites

Some common phrases used to denote that there may be allergens in the food through cross-contamination include but are not limited to “may contain x” or “made on equipment that also processes x.”

"New" box as example of what is REQUIRED
“New” box as example of what is REQUIRED

All of these regulations call for changes in labels that could be expensive if your business does not make use of in-house label printing that can be easily tailored to specific needs.

More about Country of Origin Meat Labeling in the EU

Prior to the implementation of these regulations, country of origin labeling was only required for certain food types. It needed to be present on food types such as honey, fruit and vegetables, fish, beef and beef products, olive oil, wine, eggs, imported poultry, and spirits.

However, the official document COM(2013) 755, section 4, references the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC) study, which found that 48% of meat consumers in the EU say that meat origin is of fifth most importance when deciding what to purchase.

This prompted the European Parliament and Council to extend the mandate to all unprocessed pig, poultry, sheep, and goat meat. Also, it is now required that minced meat display on its packaging the percentage of fat content and the collagen/meat ratio.

What the European Commission (EC) calls “cumulative traceability” is a new requirement as of December 13, 2013. It states that food manufacturers must list on their label the country of birth of their meat, the country in which it was raised, the country of slaughter, and country in which it was processed.

The EC had to revamp the regulations about the way animal information was passed along from various suppliers so that there could be an established database containing the detailed history of each animal, therefore making it easier for you all to comply with these new country of origin labeling laws.

EU Food Labeling Compliance Made Easy with the Kiaro! label printer

A significant change that you may have to make to your existing label format is the removal of an “allergy box.”

This means that content of allergens in your food product cannot be isolated in its own area on the label; rather it must be listed in bold, highlighted, underlined, or in colored text as part of the normal ingredient list.

The Kiaro! color label printer allows you to easily add color to specific text so that you are able to comply with the new regulations, satisfy your customers with easily seen allergen information, and even boost sales by enhancing your product aesthetically.

The Kiaro! label printer is the most efficient way to make changes to your labels.

Printing in-house provides many benefits such as the ability to manage every aspect of the printing process and make changes as needed without waste or downtime. You are able to print labels in any batch size, small to large, or for any product type; seasonal to flagship!

Take O&H Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin for example. They utilize the Kiaro! digital label printer for all of their seasonally available baked goods, and they save money because they can print labels, any time. It’s all tailored directly to the supply and demand of a product, thereby ensuring no money is wasted on big-batch label productions.

Kiaro! in action
Kiaro! digital color label printer for O&H Bakery

You can even print your labels in captivating 1200 dpi, making for crisp, clear color on your labels that adds appeal to your packaging, and catch the eyes of new customers!
This color option is perfect for complying with the new requirement to add allergy information, which can require contrasting colors, because label edits can be easily made through labeling software, such as NiceLabel, that works seamlessly with the Kiaro!.

Easy software compatibility allows for templates to be created so you can automatically add information to labels, without having to constantly recreate fields for entering origin and allergen information.

Where Can I Learn More about EU Food Labeling Requirements?

If you are so inclined, you are able to access more information about these new regulations on the official EC page. Also, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) of the UK has a page with useful information about the allergen labeling aspect in the EU.

 

 

 

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Proposed FDA Labeling Requirements Aim to Make Shoppers Smarter

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

When compared to labeling of organic foods, the labeling of conventional foods has been lightly regulated by the FDA. But that may all change soon. As of September 2013, proposed legislation plans to allow the FDA to more tightly control how manufacturers label foods both to communicate and visually present information to consumers.    

 

For years on end, shopping for healthy foods has been a struggle for some consumers due to the confusing labeling on shopping items. New legislation titled, The Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2013 was announced in September 2013 and aims to give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more authority when it comes to monitoring food and beverage labeling for conventional foods.

To be clear, “conventional food” items are on the opposite end of the spectrum from organic food items. They are foods that are produced with pesticides, insecticides, Label shoppingfertilizers, or hormones. Conventional foods are the subject of the proposed new labeling requirements.

Under this Act, the FDA would be directed to establish a standard symbol system for front-of-packaging (FOP) labeling on conventional foods. Essentially, the Act aims at giving the consumer more knowledge about the food they’re consuming.

 

How your labels might change under the Food Labeling Modernization Act:

Front of Package Standards:

  • If the principle display panel (PDP) does not include summary nutrition information that mirrors the nutritional value of the food, the food will be deemed as misbranded
  • Labeling must use a simple, clear labeling design including calorie and nutrient information

Ingredient Disclosures:

  • The PDP must disclose information regarding use of added color, non-caloric sweeteners, added flavoring and sugar alcohols on all products. Added color disclosure applies to all products excluding, ice creams, butters and cheeses.
  • Declaration of added sugars per serving statement on label.
  • Percent of daily calories recommended for consumption statement will be added.
  • Declaration of caffeine added if amount is 10mg or over from all sources.
  • Ingredient listing formats will be changed for easier reading. Changes include: upper and lower case characters, a non-condensed font type, separation of ingredients with bullet points and a higher color contrast between the text and the background.
  • More regulations would be put in place on use of nutrient content claims for cholesterol, saturated and trans fats.

“Natural” Foods:

  • Natural foods are misbranded if they contain any artificial ingredient or coloring, or if they include ingredients that are chemically altered. Examples of such ingredients include: high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, chemically modified starch, cocoa processed with alkali or any other artificial ingredient specified by the FDA.

Whole Grain Foods:

  • If a product claims that it is “whole grain” or “whole wheat”, the percentage of whole grains or whole wheat must be clearly identified next to the label.
  • In order for a product to be deemed as “healthy”, at least half of the grains in the food have to be whole grain.

Single Serving:

  • A product that can be consumed on a single occasion will be deemed as “single serving”.

    Label changes-cspinet.jpeg
    What new food labels might look like under the Act. (photo provided by www.cspinet.org)

The big picture: what these labeling changes mean

Both the FDA and its Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN) have identified these new regulations as top priority and have goals at changing the way that conventional food Nutrition Labelitems are labeled to create smarter and easier shopping experiences for consumers. In their push to create smarter shoppers, the FDA aims to create food labels that are easier to read and understand. Although there is skepticism over whether the bill will actually pass, it will play an important role in proposed FDA regulations that are expected for the coming year.

 

What these changes mean for YOU, and how QuickLabel can help

According to the bill, big changes for food labels are in store. Not only will there be added ingredient information, but the formatting for labels will be changed as well. Under the bill, the FDA would be required to offer guidance on requirements to food manufacturers and likewise, manufacturers would be required to provide documentation to the FDA that validates their claims within 90 days of the request.

kiaro and labelQuickLabel printers are here to help. With the Kiaro! inkjet label printer, labels are printed instantly and label changes can be made easily through our easy-to-use Custom QuickLabel labeling software, allowing you to conveniently change your label designs without having to pre-order entirely new labels for your products. The Kiaro! inkjet label printer will not only save you time and energy ordering new labels, it’s also going to be less expensive than other label printing options.

 

More Resources About the Food Labeling Modernization Act:

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Do You Need a Bioterrorism Registration Number?

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

Have you ever heard of a Bioterrorism Registration Number?

 

Hopefully you have if you are in the food industry. I personally had never heard of it until one of our customers had some questions about the requirements. Their company produces a product in their home kitchen, where they package it, label it, and sell it directly online and to restaurants. This company wanted to find out if they needed to register for a Bioterrorism Registration Number.  I decided to do some research, and here is what I’ve found.

Cookie Factory

 

What is the Bioterrorism Act, and who must register under it?

The 2002 Bioterrorism Act (officially named the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act) made it so any facility that manufactures, packs, processes, or holds food must register with the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA defines facility as “any establishment, structure, or structures under one management at one general physical location, or in the case of a mobile facility, traveling to multiple locations that manufactures/processes, packs, or holds foods intended for human or animal consumption in the United States.”

Who does not need to Register for a Bioterrorism Number?

According to www.fda.gov , this means that private residences, restaurants, retail food locations, nonprofit food establishments, fishing vessels and facilities that are completely regulated by the U.S.D.A do not need to register.

Why was the Bioterrorism Act created?

The FDA explains that the Act was passed in order to, “protect the public from a threatened or actual terrorist attack on the U.S. food supply.” If there were ever to be a widespread issue of foodborne illnesses then the registration information the FDA has would be utilized to try to pinpoint where the illness originated and rapidly control the outbreak.

What happens if one of the required facilities doesn’t register?

If one of the required facilities does not register for a Bioterrorism Registration Number, their food may not be sold in the United States.  So, if you have a business that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food you may be wondering if you could be in trouble for not doing this.

Who is exempt from the Bioterrorism Act?

Not to worry, there are several reasons you may not be required to register for a Bioterrorism Number, even if you meet the general guidelines. For example, if you operate out of your home it would not be necessary. Products coming out of private residences are not required to be registered under this Act. Also included are restaurants, charitable food establishments, fishing boats, grocery stores, farms, municipal water systems.

Therefore, it seemed to make sense that our customer did not need to register. This business recently started outgrowing the owner’s kitchen, so they expanded into the kitchen of a pre-existing garage apartment at the end of their driveway. Since the garage apartment is a normal part of a residential property, they still do not need to register.  However, if they built a large factory specifically for their product they would need to register, even if still living on the property.

How to register for a Bioterrorism Number

If you are realizing that you should probably be registered under this Act, don’t panic. You can avoid being prosecuted (yikes!) by the government by registering easily. Registration is a one time action, and there are no fees involved in registering.

If you have been required to register under this act I want to hear about you, your product, and your packaging and labels. If you have a product that you make and/or package from your residence and are planning on expanding I’d love to hear any questions or information about this process as well!

 

Resources:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FoodFacilityRegistration/default.htm

http://www.tradelaw.com/tt_news1.php?table=news&doc_id=29

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