FSIS Publishes Tips for Label Application Submissions Amidst Evaluation Backlogs
Meat, poultry, and egg product establishments are responsible for accurately labeling their products in conformance with regulations, guidance and policy enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). FSIS has published a number of resources to help regulated entities navigate labeling requirements for FSIS-regulated products, including guidance documents related to labeling procedures, ingredients, claims, etc., and a number of policy memoranda and resources.
In addition to guidance documents and policy memoranda, FSIS regularly publishes its Constituent Updates, where the Agency updates readers on its current backlog in evaluations for labels that require review and provides submission “tips” for industry to help with label application submissions. In its July 12, 2019 Constituent Update, FSIS provided guidance on voluntary modification of nutrition facts for meat and poultry establishments to meet the Food and Drug Administration’s format requirements. More recent “tips” include ensuring the application includes a label with all of the required features and documentation necessary to support any statements or claims on the label, and identifying all special statements and claims in the “Special Claims Information” section of the label application to help streamline the evaluation process.
FSIS has put out a flurry of new policy guidelines and changes to meat and poultry labeling in recent months, including the recent guideline on labeling of “kit” products and the proposal to change net weight/net contents for meat and poultry packages. This blog will continue to monitor such developments.