“Product of USA” Claims

The Department of Agriculture has issued a final rule that allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry, and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the U.S.

USDA states that under this rule these claims will continue to be voluntary and will remain eligible for generic label approval, meaning they don’t need to be pre-approved by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service before they can be used on regulated products. However, establishments will need to maintain documentation on file to support such claims.

The rule also allows the use of other voluntary U.S.-origin claims on meat, poultry, and egg products sold in the marketplace, which will need to include a description on the package of the preparation and processing steps that occurred in the U.S. upon which the claim is made.

Establishments voluntarily using one of these claims will need to comply with the new regulatory requirements by Jan. 1, 2026, but are encouraged to do so as soon as practicable.

An updated labeling guidance provides examples of claims and the types of documentation that establishments may maintain to support their use.

Poultry Imports

Effective March 12, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has restricted the importation of poultry, commercial birds, ratites, avian hatching eggs, unprocessed avian products and byproducts, and certain fresh poultry products originating from or transiting Hiroshima prefecture in Japan based on a determination that highly-pathogenic avian influenza exists in domestic birds in this area.

Processed avian products and byproducts originating from or transiting any restricted area, imported as cargo, must be accompanied by an APHIS import permit and/or government certification confirming that the products were treated according to APHIS requirements. Further, importation as cargo of fresh, unprocessed shell/table eggs and other egg products, void of the shell (i.e., liquid eggs, dried egg whites), originating from or transiting any restricted zone is prohibited unless the products are consigned from the port of arrival directly to an APHIS-approved breaking and pasteurization facility. An import permit and/or certificate is not required for these shipments when consigned directly to an APHIS-approved establishment.

Separately, APHIS has removed these restrictions on imports originating from or transiting zones PCZ-196 in Alberta and PCZ-221 in British Columbia (effective March 8) and Kagawa prefecture in Japan (effective March 11) after the HPAI outbreaks in these areas were completely resolved.

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