§ 101.105Declaration of net quantity of contents when exempt.
(a) The principal display panel of a food in package form shall bear a
declaration of the net quantity of contents. This shall be expressed in the
terms of weight, measure, numerical count, or a combination of numerical
count and weight or measure. The statement shall be in terms of fluid
measure if the food is liquid, or in terms of weight if the food is solid,
semisolid, or viscous, or a mixture of solid and liquid; except that such
statement may be in terms of dry measure if the food is a fresh fruit, fresh
vegetable, or other dry commodity that is customarily sold by dry measure.
If there is a firmly established general consumer usage and trade custom of
declaring the contents of a liquid by weight, or a solid, semisolid, or
viscous product by fluid measure, it may be used. Whenever the Commissioner
determines that an existing practice of declaring net quantity of contents
by weight, measure, numerical count, or a combination in the case of a
specific packaged food does not facilitate value comparisons by consumers
and offers opportunity for consumer confusion, he will by regulation
designate the appropriate term or terms to be used for such
(1) Statements of weight shall be in terms of avoirdupois pound and
(2) Statements of fluid measure shall be in terms of the U.S. gallon of 231
cubic inches and quart, pint, and fluid ounce subdivisions thereof, and
(i) In the case of frozen food that is sold and consumed in a frozen state,
express the volume at the frozen temperature.
(ii) In the case of refrigerated food that is sold in the refrigerated state,
express the volume at 40 °F (4 °C).
(iii) In the case of other foods, express the volume at 68 °F (20 °C).
(3) Statements of dry measure shall be in terms of the U.S. bushel of
2,150.42 cubic inches and peck, dry quart, and dry pint subdivisions
(c) When the declaration of quantity of contents by numerical count does not
give adequate information as to the quantity of food in the package, it
shall be combined with such statement of weight, measure, or size of the
individual units of the foods as will provide such information.
(d) The declaration may contain common or decimal fractions. A common
fraction shall be in terms of halves, quarters, eighths, sixteenths, or
thirty-seconds; except that if there exists a firmly established general
consumer usage and trade custom of employing different common fractions in
the net quantity declaration of a particular commodity, they may be
employed. A common fraction shall be reduced to its lowest terms; a decimal
fraction shall not be carried out to more than two places. A statement that
includes small fractions of an ounce shall be deemed to permit smaller
variations than one which does not include such fractions.
(e) The declaration shall be located on the principal display panel of the
label, and with respect to packages bearing alternate principal panels it
shall be duplicated on each principal display panel.
(f) The declaration shall appear as a distinct item on the principal display
panel, shall be separated (by at least a space equal to the height of the
lettering used in the declaration) from other printed label information
appearing above or below the declaration and (by at least a space equal to
twice the width of the letter “N” of the style of type used in the quantity
of contents statement) from other printed label information appearing to the
left or right of the declaration. It shall not include any term qualifying a
unit of weight, measure, or count (such as “jumbo quart” and “full gallon”)
that tends to exaggerate the amount of the food in the container. It shall
be placed on the principal display panel within the bottom 30 percent of the
area of the label panel in lines generally parallel to the base on which the
package rests as it is designed to be displayed: 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 declaration of net quantity of
contents meets the other requirements of this part.
(g) The declaration shall accurately reveal the quantity of food in the
package exclusive of wrappers and other material packed therewith: Provided, That in the case of foods packed in containers designed
to deliver the food under pressure, the declaration shall state the net
quantity of the contents that will be expelled when the instructions for use
as shown on the container are followed. The propellant is included in the
net quantity declaration.
(h) The declaration shall appear in conspicuous and easily legible boldface
print or type in distinct contrast (by typography, layout, color, embossing,
or molding) to other matter on the package; except that a declaration of net
quantity blown, embossed, or molded on a glass or plastic surface is
permissible when all label information is so formed on the surface.
Requirements of conspicuousness and legibility shall include the
(1) The ratio of height to width (of the letter) shall not exceed a
differential of 3 units to 1 unit (no more than 3 times as high as it is
(2) Letter heights pertain 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.
(3) When fractions are used, each component numeral shall meet one-half the
minimum height standards.
(i) The declaration shall be in letters and numerals in a 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:
(1) Not less than one-sixteenth inch in height on packages the principal
display panel of which has an area of 5 square inches or less.
(2) Not less than one-eighth inch in height on packages the principal display
panel of which has an area of more than 5 but not more than 25 square
(3) Not less than three-sixteenths inch in height on packages the principal
display panel of which has an area of more than 25 but not more than 100
(4) Not less than one-fourth inch in height on packages the principal display
panel of which has an area of more than 100 square inches, except not less
than 1/2 inch in height if the area is more than 400 square inches.
Where the declaration is blown, embossed, or molded on a glass or plastic
surface rather than by printing, typing, or coloring, the lettering sizes
specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (4) of this section shall be increased by
one-sixteenth of an inch.
(j) On packages containing less than 4 pounds or 1 gallon and labeled in
terms of weight or fluid measure:
(1) The declaration shall be expressed both in ounces, with identification by
weight or by liquid measure and, if applicable (1 pound or 1 pint or more)
followed in parentheses by a declaration in pounds for weight units, with
any remainder in terms of ounces or common or decimal fractions of the pound
(see examples set forth in paragraphs (m) (1) and (2) of this section), or
in the case of liquid measure, in the largest whole units (quarts, quarts
and pints, or pints, as appropriate) with any remainder in terms of fluid
ounces or common or decimal fractions of the pint or quart (see examples in
paragraphs (m) (3) and (4) of this section).
(2) If the net quantity of contents declaration appears on a random package,
that is a package which is one of a lot, shipment, or delivery of packages
of the same consumer commodity with varying weights and with no fixed weight
pattern, it may, when the net weight exceeds 1 pound, be expressed in terms
of pounds and decimal fractions of the pound carried out to not more than
two decimal places. When the net weight does not exceed 1 pound, the
declaration on the random package may be in decimal fractions of the pound
in lieu of ounces (see example in paragraph (m)(5) of this section).
(3) The declaration may appear in more than one line. The term “net weight”
shall be used when stating the net quantity of contents in terms of weight.
Use of the terms “net” or “net contents” in terms of fluid measure or
numerical count is optional. It is sufficient to distinguish avoirdupois
ounce from fluid ounce through association of terms; for example, “Net wt. 6
oz” or “6 oz Net wt.” and “6 fl oz” or “Net contents 6 fl oz”.
(k) On packages containing 4 pounds or 1 gallon or more and labeled in terms
of weight or fluid measure, the declaration shall be expressed in pounds for
weight units with any remainder in terms of ounces or common or decimal
fraction of the pound, or in the case of fluid measure, it shall be
expressed in the largest whole unit (gallons followed by common or decimal
fraction of a gallon or by the next smaller whole unit or units (quarts, or
quarts and pints)) with any remainder in terms of fluid ounces or common or
decimal fractions of the pint or quart (see paragraph (m)(6) of this
(1) A declaration of 11/2 pounds 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 lb)”.
(2) A declaration of three-fourths pound avoirdupois weight shall be
expressed as “Net Wt. 12 oz”.
(3) A declaration of 1 quart liquid measure shall be expressed as “Net 32 fl
oz (1 qt)”.
(4) A declaration of 13/4 quarts liquid measure shall be expressed
as “Net contents 56 fluid ounces (1 quart 11/2 pints)” or as “Net
56 fluid oz (1 qt 1 pt 8 oz)”, but not in terms of quart and ounce such as
“Net 56 fluid oz (1 quart 24 ounces)”.
(5) On a random package, declaration of three-fourths pound avoirdupois may
be expressed as “Net Wt. .75 lb”.
(6) A declaration of 21/2 gallons liquid measure shall be expressed
as “Net contents 21/2 gallons,” “Net contents 2.5 gallons,” or “Net
contents 2 gallons 2 quarts” and not as “2 gallons 4 pints”.
(n) For quantities, the following abbreviations and none other may be
employed (periods and plural forms are optional):
(o) Nothing in this section shall prohibit supplemental statements at
locations other than the principal display panel(s) describing in
nondeceptive terms the net quantity of contents; Provided,
that such supplemental statements of net quantity of contents shall not
include any term qualifying a unit of weight, measure, or count that tends
to exaggerate the amount of the food contained in the package; for example,
“jumbo quart” and “full gallon”. Dual or combination declarations of net
quantity of contents as provided for in paragraphs (a), (c), and (j) of this
section (for example, a combination of net weight plus numerical count, net
contents plus dilution directions of a concentrate, etc.) are not regarded
as supplemental net quantity statements and may be located on the principal
(p) A separate statement of the net quantity of contents in terms of the
metric system is not regarded as a supplemental statement and an accurate
statement of the net quantity of contents in terms of the metric system of
weight or measure may also appear on the principal display panel or on other
(q) The declaration of net quantity of contents shall express an accurate
statement of the quantity of contents of the package. Reasonable variations
caused by loss or gain of moisture during the course of good distribution
practice or by unavoidable deviations in good manufacturing practice will be
recognized. Variations from stated quantity of contents shall not be
(r) The declaration of net quantity of contents on pickles and pickle
products, including relishes but excluding one or two whole pickles in clear
plastic bags which may be declared by count, shall be expressed in terms of
the U.S. gallon of 231 cubic inches and quart, pint, and fluid ounce
(s) 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 required by paragraph
(j)(1) of this section. A multiunit retail package may thus be properly
labeled: “6-16 oz bottles—(96 fl oz)” or “3-16 oz cans—(net wt. 48 oz)”. For
the purposes of this section, “multiunit retail package” means a package
containing two or more individually packaged units of the identical
commodity and in the same quantity, intended to be sold as part of the
multiunit retail package but capable of being individually sold in full
compliance with all requirements of the regulations in this part. Open
multiunit retail packages that do not obscure the number of units or prevent
examination of the labeling on each of the individual units are not subject
to this paragraph if the labeling of each individual unit complies with the
requirements of paragraphs (f) and (i) of this section. The provisions of
this section do not apply to that butter or margarine covered by the
exemptions in § 1.24(a) (10) and (11) of this
(t) Where the declaration of net quantity of contents is in terms of net
weight and/or drained weight or volume and does not accurately reflect the
actual quantity of the contents or the product falls below the applicable
standard of fill of container because of equipment malfunction or otherwise
unintentional product variation, and the label conforms in all other
respects to the requirements of this chapter (except the requirement that
food falling below the applicable standard of fill of container shall bear
the general statement of substandard fill specified in § 130.14(b) of this chapter), the mislabeled
food product, including any food product that fails to bear the general
statement of substandard fill specified in §
130.14(b) of this chapter, may be sold by the
manufacturer or processor directly to institutions operated by Federal,
State or local governments (schools, prisons, hospitals,
etc.): Provided, That:
(1) The purchaser shall sign a statement at the time of sale stating that he
is aware that the product is mislabeled to include acknowledgment of the
nature and extent of the mislabeling, (e.g., “Actual net weight may be as
low as _% below labeled quantity”) and that any subsequent distribution by
him of said product except for his own institutional use is unlawful. This
statement shall be kept on file at the principal place of business of the
manufacturer or processor for 2 years subsequent to the date of shipment of
the product and shall be available to the Food and Drug Administration upon
(2) The product shall be labeled on the outside of its shipping container
with the statement(s):
(i) When the variation concerns net weight and/or drained weight or volume,
“Product Mislabeled. Actual net weight (drained weight or volume where
appropriate) may be as low as _% below labeled quantity. This Product Not
for Retail Distribution”, the blank to be filled in with the maximum
percentage variance between the labeled and actual weight or volume of
contents of the individual packages in the shipping container, and
(ii) When the variation is in regard to a fill of container standard, “Product
Mislabeled. Actual fill may be as low as _% below standard of fill. This
Product Not for Retail Distribution”.
(3) The statements required by paragraphs (t)(2) (i) and (ii) of this
section, which may be consolidated where appropriate, shall appear
prominently and conspicuously as compared to other printed matter on the
shipping container and in boldface print or type on a clear, contrasting
background in order to render them likely to be read and understood by the
purchaser under ordinary conditions of purchase.
[42 FR 14308, Mar. 15, 1977, as amended at 42 FR 15673, Mar. 22, 1977]
Title 21 published on 2014-04-01.
The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 21.
For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.
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.