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How to Reference Food Labels in APA Format


Occasionally, you may have to cite a food label when writing in American Psychological Association, or APA, format, especially when writing about nutrition, food additives or issues of in-home healthcare. There are two ways you can find the information for citing a food label -- on the food label itself and on a website regarding the product. When possible, take the information from the website of the distributor or a reliable nutrition website.

Nutrition Information Obtained from a Website
When possible, nutrition information used in an essay should be obtained from a reliable website.

According to the sixth edition of the American Psychological Association, or APA, handbook, citing nutritional information from a website follows the standard website citation. Begin by including the author (or organization if none is available), followed by the date. If no author or organization is provided, the title of the piece would be listed first, followed by the date or “n.d.” (if no date is listed). Then, the phrase “Retrieved from” should be followed by the URL.

Using the Food Label Itself

The following information would be included for the citation of a fact sheet or pamphlet, both of which are similarly formatted in APA format. The following information should be included in this type of citation: the producer of the product or organization that released it; the date (if listed), or “n.d.” (if no date is provided); the name/title of the product; and the phrase “product label” (in brackets), which is followed by the city and state of the manufacturer

Citing Information In-Text

The in-text citation -- whether using a website or the physical food label -- should include either the producer of the product (or organization that released it), the author of the website or web page on which the information was printed, or the title of the product (in quotation marks), as well as the year or “n.d.”

About the Author

Jade Lynch-Greenberg is a writer, blogging enthusiast and educator. She teaches multi-modal writing in the university setting and has written for the web since 2002, and created comics since 2006. She write scripts, articles, scholarly documents and technical explanations, and holds a Master of Arts in English from Purdue University.

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