|In order to ensure that the labeling process is efficient, and there is prompt evaluation of labels, yet not unreasonable demands of FSIS Labeling Compliance Team (LCT), the following changes will help maintain timely label reviews. These changes will ensure that time is available for the LCT to work on any backlog, generic label audit, and other policy issues.
- There will be advisory and consultation time each working day between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. with Division staff (including the Labeling Evaluation Specialists) to ask questions concerning labeling, standards, additives, product composition policy, and returned labeling. Please contact the Labeling and Program Delivery Division at (301) 504-0879 to arrange appointments with Labeling Evaluation Specialists and other technical policy staff. THERE WILL BE NO APPROVALS GRANTED BY THE STAFF DURING THESE APPOINTMENTS.
- Expediting Firms/Company Representatives are requested to pre-screen the label submissions for legibility, features and information that conflict with current regulations or policies, and the completeness of the entire form before submitting for review.
- A Complete label submission includes:
- Legible print,
- All required features should be clearly represented on the label. If hand drawn, regulation should be cited i.e., Legends -P-381.96, Est.-312.2, Safe Handling -P-381.125(b), Est.-317.2(l), Nutrition Facts (Est. 317.309, P-381.409). Attachments are acceptable if referenced on the label, i.e., Safe Handling Instruction.
- Expediting Firms/Company Representatives are requested to separate those labels with policy issues for the required evaluation by Technical Policy Staff.
- In order to provide the rapid turnaround expediting firms have come to expect we need to ensure our evaluation is directed to label submissions that actually require agency review. Therefore, the LCT will no longer review or approve label submissions for sketches that can be approved generically by meat and poultry establishments, during scheduled appointment time, i.e., standardized, multi-ingredient products that do not bear special claims, guarantees, or foreign language. Voluntary submissions for generically approved sketches may be dropped off with the Distribution Team. Label submissions will be evaluated on a first come, first serve basis and will not be given priority review.