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FDA revises standards for single-serve dairy containers

It may seem like too little and too late, but the Food and Drug Administration recently issued its 1993 revision of "Standards for the Fabrication of Single Service Containers and Closures for Milk and Milk Products." Federal and state regulatory inspectors use these standards as the basis for inspecting plants manufacturing dairy packaging.

Although the standards do not apply to the fabrication of non-dairy containers, many manufacturers voluntarily adopt the same protocols as a means of ensuring the sanitary quality of their products.

The three revisions were minor, all involving definitions. The words "reclaimed fibre" were added to the definition of "paper stock" to permit the use of recycled paper. FDA rejected a recommendation to include plastic material, because it has not yet finalized its position on the use of recycled plastic and plastic resins that come in contact with food.

FDA traditionally adopts revisions to the standards recommended by the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments, which meets every two years (hence the 1993 revisions). The IMS Conference is meeting again this month, so further revisions may be in the offing, perhaps in 1997 if the pattern holds.

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