FSIS harmonizes meat nutritional fact panel with FDA's

Proposed rule will improve presentation of nutrition information to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) proposed a critical step in ensuring that consumers have updated nutritional information for meat and poultry products, helping Americans make better-informed decisions when purchasing meat and poultry products.

FSIS is proposing to amend the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products to parallel the U.S. Food &  Drug Administration's final nutrition regulations, which were published on May 27, 2016. The proposed rule will improve the presentation of nutrition information to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices.

"This new rule will provide more transparency on nutrition labels so that American consumers can make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families," said Alfred Almanza, deputy undersecretary for food safety at USDA. "The new Nutrition Facts Panel will complement the many other proactive, prevention-based food policies that we've put in place in recent years."

Specifically, FSIS is proposing to:

  • Update the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared;
  • Provide updated daily reference values (DRVs) and reference daily intake (RDI) values that are based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports;
  • Amend the labeling requirements for foods represented or purported to be specifically for children under the age of four years and pregnant women and lactating women and establish nutrient reference values specifically for these population subgroups;
  • Revise the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label;
  • Amend the definition of a single-serving container;
  • Require dual-column labeling for certain containers;
  • Update and modify several reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs, or reference amounts), and
  • Consolidate the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products into a new Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part.

The proposal may be viewed on the FSIS website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/a8674ea1-0c26-4bf3-8413-43b6551c0680/2014-0024.pdf?MOD=AJPERES. FSIS is seeking public comment for 60 days from the publication date. Comments may be submitted: online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal; by mail to the Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety & Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W., Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163B, Washington, DC 20250-3700; or by hand at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-163B, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

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