Florida has a rich tradition of alcohol production. The warm climate and fertile soil that its vineyards and breweries enjoy make Florida-brewed alcoholic beverages particularly sought-after across the nation. But there are a few governmental regulations that vineyards and breweries must comply with if they want to remain in business and avoid fines – such as the mandatory government health warning labeling requirement.
Common labeling errors
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) – the governmental entity that regulates the production and sale of alcoholic beverages – recently released an issue of their newsletter containing an article concerning common mistakes that alcohol producers make with their labels.
There are certain required government warnings that must go on the labels of every alcoholic product. If the wording, punctuation or formatting of these warnings is off, it could result in fines or other penalties from the TTB.
What your label must contain
According to federal regulations, every bottle of a beverage that contains more than 0.5% of alcohol must contain the following warning verbatim:
- GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.
Please note that you must make sure that the words “GOVERNMENT WARNING” are in all capital letters and in bold. Make sure that the punctuation in your warning is exactly as laid out above. It would be a shame to have to expend funds to re-create thousands of labels just to correct a small punctuation mistake.
Keeping your operation in compliance with state and federal regulations can be one of the most complicated parts of running any type of business – especially in an industry as heavily regulated as the production of alcoholic beverages is. With some care and attention, you can avoid some potentially costly delays and fines that can come from an inadvertent violation.