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Article | May 31, 1996
USDA streamlines, too
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced two more steps toward deregulation of the meat and poultry industry. As of July 1, the burden of approval is reduced and labeling responsibility reverts back to companies.
"Companies will be totally responsible for label accuracy and FSIS will collect samples and monitor for compliance" said Cheryl Wade director of the FSIS food labeling division. "This is a culture change. We're now saying that labeling is an industry responsibility. It's not the inspector's problem anymore." John Pilla of Prime Label Consultants a Washington DC-based consulting firm that works with meat and poultry manufacturers said many companies are nervous about the impending change and still want confirmation that new or changed product labels meet USDA requirements. Pilla also reported feedback from manufacturers who claim at least some USDA inspectors have no knowledge of the change. In other action USDA is streamlining its approval process for ingredients used in meat and poultry products including indirect food additives such as packaging. Manufacturers of meat and poultry products no longer would be required to obtain separate approval from FSIS for substances approved by FDA as "direct and secondary direct food additives sources of radiation interim-listed food additives and sanctioned substances."
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