Consumer Law at Your Fingertips
Food Safety & Labeling
Wisconsin Statutes section 97.10 prohibits the sale of misbranded food (as defined in Wisconsin Statutes section 97.03). A food may be misbranded if, for example, any of the following apply:
- Its labeling is false or misleading.
- It is offered for sale under the name of another food. For example, frozen yogurt may not be represented as “ice cream.”
- The federal government has adopted standards of identity for many common foods. These federal standards apply in Wisconsin, unless Wisconsin prescribes a different standard (see Wisconsin Statutes section 97.09). A seller may not represent a food as one of these common foods unless it meets the applicable standard of identity. If a food meets the applicable standard of identity, a full listing of ingredients may not be necessary (but some ingredient disclosures may be required).
- If a food has no standard of identity, it must be labeled with the common or usual name of the food (if any). If the food is made from 2 or more ingredients, the label must also disclose the common or usual name of each ingredient.
- Its container is made, formed or filled to be misleading.
- It is in package form, but fails to bear a label containing all the following (see also Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter ATCP 90):
- The name and address of the manufacturer, packer or labeler.
- The net contents in terms of weight, measure or count (see also Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter ATCP 91).
- Required label information is not present, or is not clear or conspicuous. An ordinary individual must be able to read and understand the required label information under normal conditions of purchase and use.
- It is sold for special dietary uses, but is not labeled with relevant dietary disclosures required by law.
- It contains any artificial flavoring, artificial coloring or chemical preservative, but bears no label disclosing that fact. The label must comply with relevant state and federal requirements.
- It is sold as a food ingredient but will cause the final food product to be adulterated or misbranded (when used according to label directions).
DATCP may suspend licenses or initiate court enforcement proceedings against sellers of misbranded food. See Wisconsin Statutes section 93.06 and chapter 97.