The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued Notice 15-12, “Verifying Nutrition Labeling for the Major Cuts of Single-Ingredient, Raw Meat and Poultry Products and Ground or Chopped Meat and Poultry Products.” The notice provides inspection program personnel (IPP) with instructions for enforcing the final regulation “Nutrition Labeling of Single-Ingredient Products and Ground or Chopped Meat and Poultry Products.” The regulation is effective March 1, 2012.
According to the notice, when performing the general labeling task in PHIS, IPP in meat and poultry establishments are to verify that all single-ingredient ground or chopped meat and poultry products that do not qualify for an exemption under the final regulation, bear “Nutrition Facts” panels on their labels.
IPP are also directed to verify that the establishment has approved labels on file for these products and that the company has supporting documentation for an exemption for any single-ingredient chopped or ground meat and poultry products that do not bear “Nutrition Facts.”
IPP have been instructed not to retain ground or chopped meat or poultry products, or take any other regulatory control action or withholding action, if the products do not have “Nutrition Facts” labels.
Compliance and Investigation Division (CID) Investigators and Import Surveillance Liaison Officers (ISLOs) conducting in-commerce surveillance activities at retail stores will verify that retail stores selling the major cuts of single-ingredient meat and poultry have posted signs or provide brochures with nutrition information for the major cuts near their point-of-purchase (POP). In addition, they will verify that ground and chopped meat and poultry products packaged at retail bear “Nutrition Facts,” unless an exemption applies.
Import Inspection Personnel (IIP) will verify that the labeling regulation is being met at reinspection during label verification procedures. If product is found that is not in compliance with the regulations, IIP are to notify the regional field office and the Import Inspection Division Headquarters. At this time, IIP are not to refuse entry on ground or chopped meat or poultry or take any regulatory control action if the products do not have “Nutrition Facts” labels.
The notice is available in its entirety on the agency’s website