Uniform Compliance Date Established for Meat and Poultry Labeling Changes
The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a final rule establishing Jan. 1, 2020, as the uniform compliance date for new meat and poultry product labeling regulations that are published between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2018. Comments on this rule are due by Jan. 18.
The FSIS notes that two-year increments for compliance dates enhance the industry's ability to make orderly adjustments to new labeling requirements without unduly exposing consumers to outdated labels. With this approach, the meat and poultry industry is able to plan for the use of label inventories and develop new labeling materials that meet the requirements of all labeling regulations made within the two-year period, thereby minimizing the economic impact of labeling changes.
Nevertheless, the FSIS encourages meat and poultry companies to comply with new labeling regulations as soon as it is feasible. If companies initiate voluntary label changes, they should consider incorporating any new requirements that have been published as final regulations.