WASHINGTON – Last week the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service proposed to strip sodium benzoate, sodium propionate and benzoic acid from the list of substances regulations prohibit to be used in meat or poultry products, according to the May 11 issue of the National Chicken Council’s Washington Report. Based on the proposal, new uses of these substances in meat or poultry products would continue to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for safety and by FSIS for suitability.
FSIS would add approved uses of these substances to the list of approved substances contained in the agency’s directive system.
On Jan. 19, 2007, Kraft Foods Global petitioned FSIS to amend the federal meat and poultry products inspection regulations to permit the use of sodium benzoate and sodium propionate as acceptable antimicrobial agents that may be used in combination with other approved ingredients to inhibit the growth of Listeria monocytogens in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, FSIS stated in its notice.
On July 26, 2010, Kemin Food Technologies petitioned the agency to amend the regulations to permit the use of liquid sodium propionate and liquid sodium benzoate as acceptable antimicrobial agents in meat and poultry products. FSIS said it needed more data on the safety of sodium benzoate, sodium propionate and benzoic acid at the proposed levels of use before making a final suitability determination.
Since both companies provided sufficient additional data to support the use of sodium propionate, sodium benzoate and benzoic acid as antimicrobial agents in RTE meat and poultry products, FSIS said it is initiating this rulemaking proposing to remove these substances from the list of substances prohibited for use in meat or poultry products.
Those wanting to comment on the proposed rule must do so by July 6.