Label Requirements for
Produce in Ontario
Ontario Regulation 119/11
Regulation (O. Reg.) 119/11 Produce, Honey and Maple Products
under the Food
Safety and Quality Act, 2001 regulates the grading, packaging,
labelling, transporting, advertising and sale of produce, honey
and maple products in Ontario.
The regulation defines produce as: fresh fruit and vegetables,
sprouts, fresh culinary herbs, in shell tree nuts and peanuts, and
edible fungi that are grown or harvested for commercial purposes
Produce, whether or not it is wrapped, packaged or cut into pieces
for individual sale, is required to comply with the regulation.
In this regulation, produce does not include fruit and vegetables
that are minimally processed or otherwise processed or used in the
manufacture of other products. Minimally processed means produce
that is peeled, cut, sliced or shredded in order to prepare and
package it for sale as ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook. Processed
means produce that is canned or preserved.
All produce, unless it is of a type that is not commercially grown
or harvested in Canada, is subject to advertising and retail sign
requirements in the regulation. Requirements are detailed in the
and Retail Display Signs for Produce in Ontario" infosheet.
Labelling, packaging, and grading requirements in O.
Reg. 119/11 do not apply to:
- produce brought into Ontario through the Canada
Agricultural Products Act and sold in Ontario in its
- produce grown or harvested by or for a person's own use or household
- produce, for example pineapples, from outside Canada that are
of a type that is not commercially grown or harvested anywhere
- fruit or vegetables that are grown for the sole purpose of producing
- nuts not intended for human consumption
Packers, transporters and vendors of produce that are not exempt
Reg. 119/11 must ensure the produce complies with the packing,
labelling, transporting and sales requirements in the regulation.
Labels, Packages and Master Containers
Reg. 119/11 a "package" means:
- A bag, receptacle or container of any size that includes a box
or bin and a wrapper or confining
band that contains the produce. It does not include foil wrap
on individual potatoes or transparent film wrap on individual
specimens of produce.
- A master container is a container holding more than one package.
A label can include any mark, sign, device, imprint, stamp, ticket
or tag that is applied, affixed or attached to a package or master
Package and Master Container Label Requirements
Until July 1, 2016, potatoes must be packed in specified container
sizes. All other produce may be packed in any container suitable
for the produce.
The labelling requirements outlined in O.
Reg. 119/11 are in addition to the requirements established
in the Consumer
Packaging and Labelling Act (Canada) and the Food
and Drugs Act (Canada).
For example, federal legislation sets out requirements for print
size on labels. It is the packers responsibility to ensure
labels comply with applicable legal requirements of both federal
and provincial regulations.
Produce packed in previously used packages or master containers
must have labels that meet O.
Reg. 119/11 requirements. Non-compliant labels:
- must be completely removed and new labels applied or
- information on previous labels must be completely obliterated
and any required information added
Every label applied to a package or master container of produce
- the name and full address of the packer or the person on whose
behalf the produce is packed
- the country or province where the produce was grown or harvested
- For produce grown or harvested in a country other than Canada
use the words "Product of", "Produce of",
"Grown in" or "Country of Origin" followed
by the name of the country where the produce was grown or
harvested. Example: Produce of USA
- For produce grown or harvested in Canada the words "Product
of", "Produce of", "Grown in", "Country
of Origin" or "Province of Origin" followed
by the word "Canada" or the name of the province
where the produce was grown or harvested. Example:
Product of Canada or Grown in Ontario
- the common name of the produce if the produce is packed in a
way that it is not readily visible and identifiable
- in the case of potatoes (until July 1, 2016):
- the grade name on the label of a package or master container
above, beside or below the name of the country or province
of origin and in the same print size as the name of the country
or province of origin
- in the case of yellow fleshed potatoes:
- the words "yellow fleshed" if the word "potatoes"
appears elsewhere on the package or master container, or
- the words "yellow fleshed potatoes" if the word
"potatoes" does not appear elsewhere on the package
or master container
- in the case of peppers, the word "sweet" or "hot",
Exceptions to Labelling Requirements
- Labelling requirements do not apply to:
Labelling requirements do not apply to:
- packages of raspberries or strawberries that are packaged in
the field in containers having a capacity of 1.14 litres or less
- packages of produce that are packaged in a wrapper or confining
band of less than half an inch in width
- master containers where the labels on the packages are easily
and clearly discernible in the master container
- packages of produce that are filled by consumers from a bulk
False or misleading information on any produce label, package or
master container, in any advertisement for produce and on any retail
display sign for produce is prohibited by O.
Reg. 119/11. The regulation also prohibits misrepresenting:
- the name and address of the packer, or the person on whose behalf
the produce is packed
- the place where the produce was grown or harvested
- the amount of produce contained in the package or master container
- any grade of potatoes established under O.
For more information:
Please contact the Foods
of Plant Origin Program.