December 8, 2011
FSIS new rule: Approval of labels of US meat
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is suggesting to alter the meat and poultry products inspection regulations to expand the circumstances in which FSIS will generically approve the labels of meat and poultry products.
FSIS is also proposing to combine its now separate generic labelling regulations for meat and poultry products into one new section of the code of federal regulations (9 CFR part 412).
Under the proposed rule, establishments that apply generically approved labels without prior submission to the agency will have the responsibility of ensuring that all basic required label features (i.e., product name, safe handling statement, ingredients statement, address line, net weight, legend, safe handling instructions, nutrition labelling for multi-ingredient products, as well as the country of origin and mark of inspection of the foreign system for imported products) appear on their meat or poultry product labels in accordance with federal regulations.
If this proposal is adopted, FSIS will require establishments to submit for evaluation only certain types of labelling, e.g., labels for temporary approval, labels for products produced under religious exemption, labels for export with labelling deviations, and claims and special statements intended for use on labels. FSIS will continue to require the submission of such labels and special statements and claims because they are more likely to present significant policy issues that have health or economic significance.
Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before February 3, 2012.