How to Read Food Labels

Quick Facts:

How to Read Food Labels:

Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose foods that are lower in sodium, calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Food labels show:

Number Of Servings per package and how big/much each serving is.

Amount Per Serving which provides the nutrient amounts for one serving. If you eat more or less than a serving, add or subtract the nutrient amounts.

Percent Daily Value which provides the % of your total daily requirement that the food is supplying.

Protein, Carbohydrates and Vitamins

Sample Food Label:

For more information about understanding and using the Nutrition Facts Label on food - Click Here

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Food Additives Resources

Got questions?

Get answers about food additives and ingredients.

Food and Drug Administration

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)  5100 Paint Branch Parkway College Park, MD 20740-3835

Color Additives Information Color Additives 

Toll free information line: 1-888-SAFEFOOD (723-3366)

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Food Safety and Inspection Service Food Safety Education Staff 1400 Independence Ave., SW Room 2932-S

Washington, DC 20250-3700

Food Additives Information Fact Sheets on Additives

Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-800-535-4555

TTY: 1-800-256-7072


Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC)

USDA Ag Research Service

10301 Baltimore Ave.

Beltsville, MD 20705-2351



International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) IFIC

1100 Connecticut Ave., NW Suite 430

Washington, DC 20036

202-296-6540                Email:

American Dietetic Association (ADA) ADA

216 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60606-6995


The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) FAAN

11781 Lee Jackson Hwy. Suite 160 Fairfax, VA 22033 1-800-929-4040


Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) IFT

525 West Van Buren Suite 1000 Chicago, IL 60607 1-800-IFT-FOOD (438-3663)