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United States Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Office of Policy and Program Development
Washington, D.C.  20250-3700 

Labeling and Consumer Protection


Letter to Technical Center - August 12, 1998


United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service Office of Policy, Program Development and Evaluation Washington, D.C. 20250

August 12, 1998

John Carlson, Director
Processing Operations
Technical Service Center, FO


Robert C. Post, Ph.D., Director
Labeling and Compounds Review Division
Processing Compounds Inquiries

As you know, we are moving to eliminate the processing compounds prior authorization program. Guidance materials and instructions about processing compounds, i.e., nonfood compounds and proprietary substances, will be addressed in the final rule pertaining to sanitation requirements. In the interim, we have received questions, and we understand you have too, from industry and inspectors as to how compounds can enter inspected facilities since we have begun to redirect the resources used to perform the reviews and authorizations of compounds (July 13, 1998, letter enclosed).

We recommend that the response to such inquiries convey that (1) the List of Proprietary Substances and Nonfood Compounds be consulted for current authorizations of use, or (2) if there is no entry in the current List (or the upcoming Supplement to the List), the establishment must have documentation on file to certify the processing compound is safe and suitable when used as instructed. For example, the documentation can be in the form of a processing compound manufacturer's or supplier's guaranty or a third-party authority's certification, that the compound is safe according to some established safety criteria and, as proposed for use, will have no deleterious effects on the meat or poultry being processed. The documentation should also include clear use instructions for all applications for which the compound is intended to be used.

There are no objections to the Technical Service Center conveying the information contained in this memorandum to inspectors or establishments. If you need additional information or assistance on technical issues about processing compounds, do not hesitate to contact me at Area Code (202) 205-0279.



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For Additional Information Contact:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service
1400 Independence Ave.
Room 602 - Annex Building
Washington, DC  20250
Telephone:  202-205-0279
          Fax:  202-205-3625
        Email:  FSIS.Labeling@fsis.usda.gov
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