December 9, 2016
USDA seeks to amend nutrition label rules for meat, poultry products
The US Department of Agriculture has proposed to amend the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products to parallel the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) final nutrition regulations, which were published last May 27.
"This new rule will provide more transparency on nutrition labels so that American consumers can make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families," said Alfred Almanza, deputy undersecretary for food safety at USDA.
The proposed changes include:
- Updating the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared;
- Providing updated Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intake (RDI) values based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports;
- Amending the labeling requirements for foods represented or purported to be specifically for children under the age of 4 years and pregnant women and lactating women and establishing nutrient reference values specifically for these population subgroups;
- Revising the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label;
- Amending the definition of a single-serving container;
- Requiring dual-column labeling for certain containers;
- Updating and modifying several reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs or reference amounts); and
- Consolidating the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products into a new Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part.
The proposal may be viewed on the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service's (FSIS) website at http://bit.ly/2g0dw5S.
FSIS is seeking public comment for 60 days from the publication date. Comments may be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal; by mail to the Docket Clerk, US Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163B, Washington, DC 20250-3700; or by hand at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-163B, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
Consumers can refer their food-safety questions to "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food-safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can also be accessed 24 hours a day at: www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.