USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service  (FSIS) this week published its final rule on generic labeling.  The rule will go into effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.  FSIS is amending the meat and poultry products inspection regulations to expand the circumstances in which FSIS will generically approve the labels of meat and poultry products. The agency also is consolidating the regulations that provide for the approval of labels for meat products and poultry products.

Under the new rule, “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” will still have to be submitted for approval, FSIS said.

Examples of labels with special statements include: claims related to a product’s nutrient content to a health or disease condition; those identifying the product as organic; and claims related to how an animal was raised.  FSIS said that its goal is to reduce the backlog and administrative burden and more expertly use FSIS’s resources.

Products with labels that do not fall under the special categories, or “generic labels,” can still be submitted for approval, but they will fall under “second priority” and take longer to review.

The Federal Register Notice is available here for your reference.