February 18, 2015
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a final rule pertaining to the processing of raw meat and poultry products, requiring a descriptive designation as part of the product name on the labels of raw meat and poultry products that contain added solutions and that do not meet a standard of identity. The descriptive designation pertains to the percentage of added solution, and the individual ingredients or multi-ingredient components in the solution must be listed in descending order of predominance by weight.
The final rule indicates the following labeling and printing rule as part of the descriptive designation:
- Print must appear in a single easy-to-read type style and color and on a single-color contrasting background
- Print may appear in upper and lower case letters, with the lower case letters not smaller than one-third (1/3) the size of the largest letter
- The percent solution must appear as a number (e.g., 15, 20, 30) with the percentage sign (%) and may be declared with the word “containing” or “contains”
- Print will not allow words such as “enhanced” and “ready-to-cook poultry products to which solutions are added”
The final rule is effective beginning January 1, 2016.