What is USDA Labeling?
On the surface, labeling jurisdictions sound fairly black and white. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has primary responsibility for the regulation of food labeling for meat and poultry products under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Inspection Act. They also regulate food labeling for exotic species of animals under the Agricultural Marketing Act.
Food items consisting of 2% or more cooked, or more than 3% raw amenable meat or poultry ingredients fall under USDA regulations. This also includes products containing:
- 30% or more fat, tallow or meat extract (alone or in combination)
- 10% or more cooked poultry skins, giblets or fat (separately) or 10% or more of cooked poultry skins, giblets, fat and meat
- 15% or more cooked poultry meat prepared for sale, only to institutional users such as hotels, restaurants, and boarding houses (for use as a soup base or flavoring)
- Catfish, such as Siluriformes fish and fish products (at the proportions mentioned above)
- Egg products including dried, frozen or liquid eggs, with or without added ingredients.
- Breads with meat filling (i.e. meat pie)
- Open-faced or non-traditional items such as sausage turn-overs, taco wraps, corn dogs, gyros and burritos.