WASHINGTON – The Food Safety and Inspection Service published its final rule amending inspection regulations that expand the circumstances in which the agency will generically approve labels of meat and poultry products.
FSIS also consolidated regulations for label approval of meat and poultry products.

"The final rule provides that establishments are required to submit for evaluation only certain types of labeling, e.g., 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," FSIS said.

Examples of special statement include:

• claims relating a product's nutrient content to a health or a disease condition;
• statements that identify a product as "organic'' or containing organic ingredients;
• claims regarding the raising of animals, such as "no antibiotics administered'' or "vegetarian fed'';
• instructional or disclaimer statements concerning pathogens, e.g., "for cooking only'' or "not tested for E. coli O157:H7;'' and
• statements that identify a product as "natural.''

The final rule will go into effect 60 after publication in the Federal Register.