August 16, 2011
US food safety service issues final nutrition labelling rule
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued the final rule requiring nutrition tagging of the major cuts of single-ingredient, raw meat and poultry products and ground or chopped meat and poultry products.
Notice 43-11 instructs Inspection Program Personnel (IPP) to make plant management aware of the final rule and implementation date (January 1, 2012).
The rule amends federal meat and poultry product regulations to require nutrition labelling of the major cuts of single ingredient, raw meat and poultry products on labels or at point of-purchase, and to require nutrition labels on all ground or chopped meat and poultry products, with or without added seasonings, unless the products are exempted.
Nutrition information will also be required for ground meat and poultry products but, unlike whole muscle cuts, ground products will be required to bear nutrition labelling on their packages, unless exempted.
The rule also establishes parameters for nutrient content claims for fat, fatty acids and cholesterol content, stating that a lean percentage claim may be used on the label or in labelling of ground or chopped meat products when the product does not meet the criteria for "low fat," provided that a statement of the fat percentage is contiguous to and in lettering of the same colour, size, type and on the same colour background, as the statement of the lean percentage.
Point-of-purchase (POP) information can be provided by various methods, including posting a sign or by making the information readily available in brochures, notebooks, or leaflet form in close proximity to the food. The information may be supplemented by video, live demonstration, or other media. Making a nutrition claim on POP requires that all of the regulatory requirements regarding format and content apply. In addition, for POP materials, a nutrition information declaration may be presented in a simplified format.
Failure to provide nutrition information in accord with the rule renders a product misbranded, according to the rule.