Cheese - Fat and Moisture Declaration
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Retailers are responsible for ensuring that cheese which they package from bulk on the retail premises are labelled in accordance with the requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations.
Section B.08.032 of the Food and Drug Regulations requires that cheese labels show, on the principal display panel, a declaration of the actual percentage of milk fat and moisture content in the product. For this declaration, the words "milk fat" or the abbreviation "B.F." or "M.F." would have to be used in conjunction with the percentage of milk fat declared and the word "moisture" or "water" would have to be used in conjunction with the percentage of moisture declared (e.g. "31% M.F. and 39% Moisture").
This labelling requirement applies to all standardized cheeses including:
- (naming the variety) cheese
- cheddar cheese
- cream cheese
- cream cheese spread
- processed (naming the variety) cheese
- processed cheese food
- processed cheese spread
- cold-pack (naming the variety) cheese
- cold-pack cheese food
Although the amount of fat and moisture in these cheeses varies from one variety to another and from one manufacturer to another, retailers can find this information on the label of shipping containers received from the manufacturer or may obtain it from the distributor.
As a retailer, it is your responsibility to ensure that all employees involved in the packaging and labelling of cheese and cheese products at the retail level follow this legislative requirement. Your quality assurance program should include the monitoring of your staff's adherence to this requirement.
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