Label Requirements for Produce in Ontario
Ontario Regulation 119/11
On July 1, 2011, Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 119/11 Produce, Honey and Maple Products in the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001 came into effect. It replaced Reg. 378 Grades - Fruit and Vegetables in the Farm Products Grades and Sales Act which previously regulated produce in Ontario. O. Reg. 119/11 regulates the grading, packaging, labelling, transporting, advertising and sale of produce, honey and maple products in Ontario.
In O. Reg. 119/11 produce means 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 in Ontario. 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 Advertising and Retail Display Signs for Produce in Ontario infosheet.
Labelling, packaging, and grading requirements in O. Reg. 119/11 do not apply to:
Packers, transporters and vendors of produce that are not exempt from O. Reg. 119/11 must ensure the produce complies with the packing, labelling, transporting and sales requirements in the regulation.
Labels, Packages and Master Containers
In O. Reg. 119/11 a "package" means:
A label can include any mark, sign, device, imprint, stamp, ticket or tag that is applied, affixed or attached to a package or master container.
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 packer's 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:
O. Reg. 119/11 requires that every label applied to a package or master container of produce must include:
Producers of nuts and edible fungi have until July 1, 2013 to comply with the requirement in O. Reg. 119/11 for the label to indicate the country or province of origin.
Exceptions to Labelling Requirements - Labelling requirements do not apply to:
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:
Retail Sign and Label Toolkit
Ontario Regulation 119/11 under the Food Safety and Quality
Guidelines to Food Labelling and Advertising
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Regulations under the Canada Agricultural
Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations
Food and Drugs Act and Regulations
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