Classes of Poultry
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending the definition and standard of identity for the ``roaster'' or ``roasting chicken'' poultry class to better reflect the characteristics of ``roaster'' chickens in the market today. ``Roasters'' or ``roasting chickens'' are described in terms of the age and ready-to-cook (RTC) carcass weight of the bird. Genetic changes and management techniques have continued to reduce the grow-out period and increased the RTC weight for this poultry class. Therefore, FSIS is amending the ``roaster'' definition to remove the 8-week minimum age criterion and increase the RTC carcass weight from 5 pounds to 5.5 pounds. FSIS is taking this action in response to a petition submitted by the National Chicken Council.