9 CFR 381.121 - Quantity of contents.

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§ 381.121 Quantity of contents.
(a) The label shall bear a statement of the quantity of contents in terms of weight or measures as provided in paragraph (c)(5) of this section. However, the Administrator may approve the use of labels for certain types of consumer packages which do not bear a statement of the net weight that would otherwise be required under this subparagraph: Provided, That the shipping container bears a statement “Net weight to be marked on consumer packages prior to display and sale”: And provided further, That the total net weight of the contents of the shipping container is marked on such container: And provided further, That the shipping container bears a statement “Tare weight of consumer package” and in close proximity thereto, the actual tare weight (weight of packaging material), weighed to the nearest one-eighth ounce or less, of the individual consumer package in the shipping container. The above-specified statements may be added to approved shipping container labels upon approval by the inspector in charge.
(b) When a poultry product and a nonpoultry product are separately wrapped and are placed in a single immediate container bearing the same name of both products, the net weight on such immediate container may be the total net weight of the products, or such immediate container may show the net weights of the poultry product and the nonpoultry product separately. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this paragraph, the label on consumer size retail packages of stuffed poultry and other stuffed poultry products must show the total net weight of the poultry product, and in close proximity thereto, a statement specifying the minimum weight of the poultry in the product.
(c)
(1) The statement of net quantity of contents shall appear (except as otherwise permitted under this paragraph (c)), on the principal display panel of all containers to be sold at retail intact, in conspicuous and easily legible boldface print or type, in distinct contrast to other matter on the container, and shall be declared in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph (c). An unused tare weight, as defined in section 381.121b of this subchapter, may be printed adjacent to the statement of net quantity of contents when the product is packaged totally with impervious packaging material and is packed with a usable medium.
(2) The statement shall be placed on the principal display panel within the bottom 30 percent of the area of the panel, in lines generally parallel to the base: Provided, That on packages having a principal display panel of 5 square inches or less, the requirement for placement within the bottom 30 percent of the area of the label panel shall not apply when the statement meets the other requirements of this paragraph. The declaration may appear in more than one line.
(3) The statement shall be in letters and numerals in type size established in relationship to the area of the principal display panel of the package and shall be uniform for all packages of substantially the same size by complying with the following type specifications:
(i) Not less than one-sixteenth inch in height on containers, the principal display panel of which has an area of 5 square inches or less;
(ii) Not less than one-eighth inch in height on containers, the principal display panel of which has an area of more than 5 but not more than 25 square inches;
(iii) Not less than three-sixteenth inch in height on containers, the principal display panel of which has an area of more than 25 but not more than 100 square inches;
(iv) Not less than one-quarter inch in height on containers, the principal display panel of which has an area of more than 100 but not more than 400 square inches;
(v) Not less than one-half inch in height on containers, the principal display panel of which has an area of more than 400 square inches.
(vi) The ratio of height to width of letters and numerals shall not exceed a differential of 3 units to 1 unit (no more than 3 times as high as it is wide). This height standard pertains to upper case or capital letters. When upper and lower case or all lower case letters are used, it is the lower case letter “o” or its equivalent that shall meet the minimum standards. When fractions are used, each component numeral shall meet one-half the height standards.
(4) The statement shall appear as a distinct item on the principal display panel and shall be separated, from other label information appearing to the left or right of the statement, by a space at least equal in width to twice the width of the letter “N” of the style of type used in the quantity of contents statement and shall be separated from other label information appearing above or below the statement by a space at least equal in height to the height of the lettering used in the statement.
(5) The terms “net weight” or “net wt.” shall be used when stating the net quantity of contents in terms of weight, and the term “net contents” or “contents” when stating the net quantity of contents in terms of fluid measure. Except as provided in § 381.128, the statement shall be expressed in terms of avoirdupois weight or liquid measure. Where no general consumer usage to the contrary exists, the statement shall be in terms of liquid measure, if the product is liquid, or in terms of weight if the product is solid, semisolid, viscous or a mixture of solid and liquid. On packages containing less than 1 pound or 1 pint, the statement shall be expressed in ounces or fractions of a pint, respectively. On packages containing 1 pound or 1 pint or more, and less than 4 pounds or 1 gallon, the statement shall be expressed as a dual declaration both in ounces and (immediately thereafter in parenthesis) in pounds, with any remainder in terms of ounces or common or decimal fraction of the pound, or in the case of liquid measure, in the largest whole units with any remainder in terms of fluid ounces or common or decimal fraction of the pint or quart. For example, a declaration of three-fourths pound avoirdupois weight shall be expressed as “Net Wt. 12 oz.”; a declaration of 11/2 pounds avoirdupois weight shall be expressed as “Net Wt. 24 oz. (1 lb. 8 oz.),” “Net Wt. 24 oz. (11/2 lb.),” or “Net Wt. 24 oz. (1.5 lbs.).” However, on random weight packages the statement shall be expressed in terms of pounds and decimal fractions of the pound, for packages over 1 pound, and for packages which do not exceed 1 pound the statement may be in decimal fractions of the pound in lieu of ounces. The numbers may be written in provided the unit designation is printed. Paragraphs (c) (8) and (9) of this section permit certain exceptions to this paragraph for multi-unit packages, and random weight consumer size and small packages (less than 1/2 ounce), respectively.
(6) The statement as it is shown on a label shall not be false or misleading and shall express an accurate statement of the quantity of contents of the container. Reasonable variations caused by loss or gain of moisture during the course of good distribution practices or by unavoidable deviations in good manufacturing practices will be recognized. Variations from stated quantity of contents shall be as provided in section 381.121b of this subchapter. The statement shall not include any term qualifying a unit of weight, measure, or count such as “jumbo quart,” “full gallon,” “giant quart,” “when packed,” “minimum,” or words of similar importance except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.
(7) Labels for containers which bear any representation as to the number of servings contained therein shall bear, contiguous to such representation, and in the same size type as is used for such representation, a statement of the net quantity of each such serving.
(8) On a multiunit retail package, a statement of the quantity of contents shall appear on the outside of the package and shall include the number of individual units, the quantity of each individual unit, and, in parentheses, the total quantity of contents of the multiunit package in terms of avoirdupois or fluid ounces, except that such declaration of total quantity need not be followed by an additional parenthetical declaration in terms of the largest whole units and subdivisions thereof, as otherwise required by this paragraph (c). “A multiunit retail package” is a package containing two or more individually packaged units of the identical commodity and in the same quantity, with the individual packages intended to be sold as part of the multiunit retail package but capable of being sold individually. Open multiunit retail packages that do not obscure the number of units and the labeling thereon are not subject to this paragraph (c) (8) if the labeling of each individual unit complies with the requirements of this paragraph (c).
(9) The following exemptions from the requirements contained in this section are hereby established:
(i) Individually wrapped, random weight consumer size packages of poultry products (as specified in paragraph (c)(10) of this section) and poultry products that are subject to shrinkage through moisture loss during good distribution practices and are designated as gray area type of products as defined in NBS handbook 133, section 3.18.2, need not bear a net weight statement when shipped from an official establishment provided a net weight shipping statement which meets the requirements of paragraph (c)(6) of this section is applied to the shipping container prior to shipping it from the official establishment. Net weight statements so applied to the shipping container are exempt from the type size, dual declaration, and placement requirements of this paragraph if an accurate statement of net weight is shown conspicuously on the principal display panel of the shipping container. The net weight also shall be applied directly to random weight consumer size packages prior to retail display and sale. The net weight statement of random weight consumer size packages for retail sale shall be exempt from the type size, dual declaration, and placement requirements of this paragraph if an accurate statement of net weight is shown conspicuously on the principal display panel of the package.
(ii) Individually wrapped and labeled packages of less than 1/2 ounce net weight and random weight consumer size packages shall be exempt from the requirements of this paragraph if they are in a shipping container and the statement of net quantity of contents on the shipping container meets the requirements of paragraph (c)(6) of this section;
(iii) Individually wrapped and labeled packages of less than 1/2 ounce net weight bearing labels declaring net weight, price per pound, and total price, shall be exempt from the type size, dual declaration, and placement requirements of this paragraph if an accurate statement of net weight is shown conspicuously on the principal display panel of the package.
(10) As used in this section a “random weight consumer size package” is one of a lot, shipment or delivery of packages of the same product, with varying weights and with no fixed weight pattern.
[37 FR 9706, May 16, 1972, as amended at 39 FR 4569, Feb. 5, 1974; 53 FR 28635, July 29, 1988; 55 FR 49835, Nov. 30, 1990]

Title 9 published on 2014-01-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 9.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-09-19; vol. 79 # 182 - Friday, September 19, 2014
    1. 79 FR 56220 - Electronic Import Inspection Application and Certification of Imported Products and Foreign Establishments; Amendments To Facilitate the Public Health Information System (PHIS) and Other Changes to Import Inspection Regulations
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Food Safety and Inspection Service
      Final rule.
      Effective Date: November 18, 2014. Compliance Date: Revised Import Inspection Application (FSIS Form 9540-1): March 18, 2015.
      9 CFR Parts 304, 327, 381, and 590

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 7 - AGRICULTURE
U.S. Code: Title 21 - FOOD AND DRUGS

§ 451 - Congressional statement of findings

§ 452 - Congressional declaration of policy

§ 453 - Definitions

§ 454 - Federal and State cooperation in development and administration of State poultry product inspection programs

§ 455 - Inspection in official establishments

§ 456 - Operation of premises, facilities and equipment

§ 457 - Labeling and container standards

§ 458 - Prohibited acts

§ 459 - Compliance by all establishments

§ 460 - Miscellaneous activities subject to regulation

§ 461 - Offenses and punishment

§ 462 - Reporting of violations; notice; opportunity to present views

§ 463 - Rules and regulations

§ 464 - Exemptions

§ 465 - Limitations upon entry of poultry products and other materials into official establishments

§ 466 - Imports

§ 467 - Inspection services

§ 467a - Administrative detention; duration; pending judicial proceedings; notification of government authorities; release; removal of official marks

§ 467b - Seizure and condemnation

§ 467c - Federal court jurisdiction of enforcement and injunction proceedings and other kinds of cases; limitations; United States as plaintiff; subpenas

§ 467d - Administration and enforcement; applicability of penalty provisions; conduct of inquiries; power and jurisdiction of courts

§ 467e - Non-Federal jurisdiction of federally regulated matters; prohibition of additional or different requirements for establishments...purposes of adulterated or misbranded and imported articles; other matters

§ 467f - Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act applications

§ 468 - Cost of inspection; overtime

§ 469 - Authorization of appropriations

§ 470 - Omitted

Title 9 published on 2014-01-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 9 CFR 381 after this date.

  • 2014-09-19; vol. 79 # 182 - Friday, September 19, 2014
    1. 79 FR 56220 - Electronic Import Inspection Application and Certification of Imported Products and Foreign Establishments; Amendments To Facilitate the Public Health Information System (PHIS) and Other Changes to Import Inspection Regulations
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Food Safety and Inspection Service
      Final rule.
      Effective Date: November 18, 2014. Compliance Date: Revised Import Inspection Application (FSIS Form 9540-1): March 18, 2015.
      9 CFR Parts 304, 327, 381, and 590