Questionnaire survey on labeling of food products subject to infant standard
In October 2020, the Doctor Mailbox1 on NCAC's website received a report that a boy aged 10 months choked on a small loaf of bread and died.
The product label of the food says "Suitable for children aged 10 months and over" and "This food is subject to the infant standard based on the Food Sanitation Act". The label means that the food is subject to the standard that the food shall not contain radioactive materials (radioactive cesium) exceeding 50 Bq/kg, which has been set for food products sold as infant food under the Specifications and Standards for Foods, Food Additives, etc. The causal relationship between the label and the food choking incident is unknown. However, the label might give consumers the wrong impression that the product is safe for infants in various aspects. Therefore, NCAC has decided to conduct a consumer questionnaire survey to find out consumers' understanding of this kind of label and to share findings from the survey.
- 1 In August 2014, NCAC set up a web page called "Doctor Mailbox" to catch information directly from doctors about accidental injuries caused by products or services in order to help prevent similar incidents.
Questionnaire survey and results
- Survey results show that most of the respondents did not correctly understand the label saying "This food is subject to the infant standard" and wrongly assumed that the food was subject to a standard for firmness, size, allergen, nutrition, etc.
Advice for consumers
- Labels indicating that the food is subject to the infant standard means that the food is subject to the standard for radioactive materials in food. Remember the correct meaning.
Request to the government
- Take appropriate measures to prevent consumers from misunderstanding labels indicating that the food is subject to the infant standard.