he USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has published a new regulatory amendment that will significantly broaden the scope of its generically approved labeling system for meat, poultry, and egg products. This change to their existing policy will come into effect on March 20, 2023, and involves FSIS no longer reviewing or evaluating labels submitted voluntarily by establishments and egg product plants for assessment.
Essentially, this means that businesses that wish to label their products are now allowed to do so without going through an approval process from the FSIS. This expanded generic approval system should make it easier for meat, poultry, and egg production companies to get their goods labeled quickly, efficiently, and in compliance with federal regulations.
Claims Generically Approved
Under this final rule, the following types of claims will be generically approved:
- “Organic” claims that appear in a product label’s ingredients statement, which designate an ingredient as certified “organic” under the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS’s) National Organic Program.
- “Geographic landmarks” displayed on a product label, such as a foreign country’s flag, monument, or map.
- “Negative” claims made on product labels that identify the absence of certain ingredients or types of ingredients. For example, statements such as “No MSG Added,” “Preservative Free,” “No Milk,” “No Pork,” or “Made Without Soy” on product labels that do not list these ingredients in the ingredients statement will no longer have to be evaluated by FSIS before use.
Considering these changes, FSIS has revised and reissued the FSIS Guideline for Label Approval to provide updated information on the types of labels that must be submitted to FSIS for approval consistent with this rule.
Have Your Say
Comments on the revised FSIS Guideline for Label Approval must be submitted on or before February 17, 2023, via the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions at that site for submitting comments.
- Mail: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3758, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
- Hand- or Courier-Delivered Submittals: Deliver to 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 350-E, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2019-0019. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to https://www.regulations.gov.
Questions about these changes to the labeling system for meat, poultry, and egg products, contact us, we’re here to help.