Constituent Update - October 23, 2020
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
New labels are currently taking about 5-7 business days to evaluate.
TIP: Labels with compliant product names will provide a more efficient label approval process for that label.
The product name is one of the up-to-eight required features on a label and one of the features that must appear on the principle display panel for compliance with 9 CFR 317.2 (c)(1), 9 CFR 317.2 (e) and 9 CFR 381.117. The product name may come in one of several different formats, including a standardized name, a common or usual name, a descriptive name, or a nonspecific name, depending on the type of product. For example, some product names include a standardized name such as “italian sausage” or “ground beef,” both of which have regulatory standards of identity. To label a product with a standardized product name, the product must meet that specific standard as identified in the regulations.
If there is no regulatory standard of identity for the product, then the common or usual name must be used as the product name. A common or usual name is a name that is commonly understood by consumers, such as a “beef chuck roast.” A descriptive name is required for those products that do not have a regulatory standard or common or usual name and therefore require a further descriptive designation. Examples include “pepperoni with cheese and sauce in a crust” or “breaded chicken and pasta in alfredo sauce.”
For meat products that do not have a standard of identity, common or usual name, or a full descriptive name, the meat products may be described by using a non-specific product name. The FSIS Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book entry for “Nonspecific Meat Food Products” allows labels for red meat products to bear a non-specific product name such as “luncheon loaf” or “chuckwagon patty.” Non-specific product names on labels must be immediately followed by the ingredients statement with no intervening text or graphics between the product name and the ingredients statement. There is no such similar allowance for poultry products.
More information about product names can be found on page 26 of A Guide to Federal Food Labeling Requirements for Meat, Poultry and Egg Products.
FSIS will continue to provide updates regarding label turnaround time, as well as suggestions to assist industry to streamline label submissions in its Constituent Update.
Egg Products Final Rule Expected to Publish in Federal Register Next Week
The Egg Products Inspection Regulations final rule will be on display on the Federal Register website on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 and it will be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, October 29, 2020. FSIS previously announced and posted an advance copy of the rule on September 9, 2020.
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at:https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations.The following policy updates were recently issued:
FSIS Notice 58-20 - Federal Holidays in Calendar Year 2021
FSIS Notice 59-20 - Federal Benefits 2020 Open Season
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following countries:
- Hong Kong
- Saudi Arabia
Complete information can be found at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.