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FLEXO Magazine : September 2014
Mind Your Graphics Labeling Requirements & Regulations for Package Printing Catherine Haynes F or those of us in printing, especially package printing, understanding and keeping up with government regulations can be a thorn in our side. Now don’t roll your eyes or start huffing at the thought just yet. If we choose to look at the glass as “half full,” we can embrace these changes as opportunities. On the one hand, a steady feed of changes or updates to regulations for things like food and drug packaging means job security and another opportunity to make a little money for printers and prepress shops. For CPCs, it opens the door for consideration of other changes as well—perhaps a chance to give the graphics a little facelift. REGULATION FRUSTRATION But I am guessing these are not your initial sentiments when you are generating a bar code or hear about a new set of requirements for nutritional panels. Frustration, confusion and fear, mixed with a little irritation, are probably more common reactions. What makes us quake a little? It is the uncertainty of a system filled with hard to discern rules and yet the potential to face stiff penalties when not followed correctly. Some specifications are general while others are very specific, and there are rules that apply to all aspects of the label or package to include: • Font sizes • Product identification • Manufacturer information • Quantity information • Where art or non essential material is not allowed • Food additives and ingredients • Food allergens • Nutritional information • Bar codes and warning statements The regulations discussed within this article are more specifically related to graphics, for things like font specifications, bar codes, ingre- dients panels and nutritional panels. “As a prepress provider though, you can help establish your relevance as the CPC’s supplier, if you have checkpoints built into your process to ensure you are following the latest rules and employing the current formats. ” 32 FLEXO | SEPTEMBER 2014 INDUSTRY INDICATORS PART 1 INA SERIES