WASHINGTON – A final rule published in the Federal Register by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) removes the condition that meat products weight contents display two different units of measurement on the product label.
FSIS proposed the rule change after a petition from a small meat processor. The petitioner said that the dual weight labeling requirement was unnecessary and imposed disparate costs on small businesses.
“After reviewing the existing regulations, FSIS determined that it is not necessary for labels of any meat or poultry products to bear dual statements of weight or content, using more than one unit of measurement to convey the accurate weight or amount of the product to consumers,” the agency said in the Federal Register.
Before the proposed change, FSIS required packages containing at least one lb or one pint, but less than four lbs or one gallon, to express the net weight or net contents in two different units of measurement.
Dual declaration required companies to put the net weight in ounces and immediately thereafter in parentheses in pounds, with any remainder in terms of ounces or common or decimal fraction of the pound. (“Net Wt. 24 oz. (1 lb. 8 oz.), “Net Wt. 24 oz. (1.5 lbs.)” or “Net Wt. 24 oz. (1 1/2 lb.)”).
FSIS said it received 22 comments on the proposed rule.