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FSIS Expands Approval of Generic Meat and Poultry Labels

Thursday, November 7, 2013

(American Meat Institute)

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) made public a final rule amending its label approval regulations to expand the circumstances in which the labels of meat and poultry products be generically approved. The rule provides that establishments are required to submit certain types of labeling for evaluation, such as labels for temporary approval, labels for products produced under religious exemption, labels for products for export with labeling deviations, and labels with claims and special statements.

Statements on labels that are defined in FSIS's regulations or the Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book, except for "natural" and negative claims, will be generically approved by the agency without being submitted for evaluation and approval.

Under the rule, labels that do not qualify for generic approval will receive first priority for review. Labels that do qualify for generic approval will receive a lower or second priority.

The rule will also consolidate the regulations that provide for the approval of labels for meat products (9 CFR 317.4) and poultry products (9 CFR 381.132) into a new part 412 in title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

The final rule is expected to publish in the Federal Register this week, with comments due 60 days after publication. An advance copy can be viewed here.

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