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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

 

Inks Used to Brand Meat and Poultry Parts or Carcasses

 

 

Inks Used to Brand Meat and Poultry Parts or Carcasses Must Be Formulated Using the Following:

  • FD&C certified colors (Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 74, Subpart A Foods) or color additives exempt from certification (Title 21, CFR, Part 73, Subpart A Foods).
  • Diluents and drying agents that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) (Title 21, Section 73.1). Specifically, the diluents permitted are water, dextrose (corn sugar), isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, shellac, and acetone. If a company wants to use another diluent that is listed in Title 21, Section 73.1, they need to obtain clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Multipurpose GRAS substances listed in 21 CFR, Part 182, Subpart B.

Alkanet, annatto, carotene, chochineal, green chlorophyll, saffron, and tumeric are listed in Title 9, CFR, Section 424.21 (c) as natural coloring agents and may be used for marking or branding ink on meat products only.

For further information contact the Labeling and Consumer Protection Staff at Area Code (202) 205-0279 or (202) 205-0623.

 

 

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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
Please include your name and/or company name, phone number and complete e-mail address so that we may promptly reply to your inquires.