15.18.09.04

.04 Label Format for Pet Food and Specialty Pet Food.

A. General Requirements. In addition to other requirements for commercial feed provided by law, the requirements of this regulation shall apply also to pet food and specialty pet food.

B. Pet Food Labeling. A pet food and specialty pet food shall be labeled with the following information:

(1) The product name and brand name if any, on the principal display panel as specified Agriculture Article, §6-109(a)(2), Subtitle 1, Title 6, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(2) A statement specifying the species name of the pet or specialty pet for which the food is intended, conspicuously designated on the principal display panel;

(3) A quantity statement as defined in Agriculture Article, §11-308, Subtitle 3, Title 11, Annotated Code of Maryland, on the principal display panel, by weight (pounds and ounces, and metric), liquid measure (quarts, pints, and fluid ounces and metric) or by count;

(4) Guaranteed analysis as specified in Agriculture Article, §6-109(a)(5), Subtitle 1, Title 6, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(5) An ingredient statement as specified Agriculture Article, §6-109(a)(3), Subtitle 1, Title 6, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(6) A statement of nutritional adequacy or purpose if required under these regulations;

(7) Feeding directions if required under these regulations;

(8) Name and address of the manufacturer or distributor as stipulated in Agriculture Article, §6-109(a)(4), Subtitle 1, Title 6, Annotated Code of Maryland; and

(9) A unique and traceable lot number or production date.

C. Requirements for Outer Container or Wrapper. When a pet food or specialty pet food is enclosed in an outer container or wrapper and is intended for retail sale, the following requirements apply to the outer container or wrapper:

(1) A vignette, graphic, or pictorial representation of any product on any pet food or specialty pet food label shall not misrepresent the contents of the package;

(2) The use of the term “proven” in connection with a label claim for a pet food or specialty pet food is not permitted unless the claim is substantiated by scientific or other empirical evidence;

(3) No statement shall appear upon the label of any pet food or specialty pet food which makes false or misleading comparisons between that food and any other pet or specialty pet food;

(4) Personal or commercial endorsement or endorsements are permitted on pet food or specialty pet food labels if it is not false or misleading;

(5) A statement on a pet food or specialty pet food label stating “improved”, “new”, or a similar designation shall be substantiated and limited to 6 months’ production; and

(6) A statement on a pet food or specialty pet food label stating preference or a comparative attribute or attributes claim shall be substantiated and is limited to 1 year of production, after which the claim shall be removed or re-substantiated.

D. Requirement for Raw Milk.

(1) Raw milk distributed as pet food or specialty pet food shall bear the following statement:

“WARNING: NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION—THIS PRODUCT HAS NOT BEEN PASTEURIZED, MAY CONTAIN HARMFUL BACTERIA AND MAY CAUSE FOODBORNE ILLNESS.”

(2) This warning statement shall be displayed in a conspicuous manner and shall not be smaller than the height of the minimum font for the quantity statement as shown in the following table:

Panel Size Warning Statement Minimum
Type Size
< 5in.2 1/16 in.
> 5 —< 25 in.2 1/8 in.
> 25 —< 100 in.2 3/16 in.
> 100 —< 400 in.2 1/4 in.
> 400 in.2 1/2 in.

(3) The label shall bear a unique and traceable lot number or production date.