Meat flavor products regulated by FSIS, clarifies USDA

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food, Fsis

Manufacturers of flavor products formulated with significant levels
of meat or poultry ingredients must have these approved by the US
Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service
(USDA/FSIS), the agency said last week.

Products that fall under FSIS jurisdiction include flavor bases and blended and reaction/process flavors, with greater than 3 percent raw meat or poultry, or 2 percent or more cooked meat or poultry, in their formulation.

Published last week, the USDA's notice was designed as a clarification to industry, as it said some manufacturers were unaware which agency regulated these products, and needed to take "necessary steps"​ to come under inspection.

Flavor products produced with meat or poultry ingredients are used to flavor non-meat or non-poultry foods. These bases and flavors are produced by rigorous heating for a prescribed time (e.g. 100°C or higher for at least 15 minutes) and by chemical reaction processes (e.g. hydrolysis/enzymolysis). During these processes, chemical reactions typically occur between reducing sugars and amino acids or proteins.

And if these contain greater than 3 percent raw meat or poultry or 2 percent or more cooked meat or poultry in their formulation, they are amenable to FSIS jurisdiction because one basis for determining amenability is measuring the amounts of meat or poultry used in formulating products, said the USDA.

The agency said it is considering making changes in whether it asserts jurisdiction over certain meat and poultry products, including flavor products, and accepted comments on this issue in response to a Federal Register notice published on November 17, 2005. In that notice, FSIS indicated that the Agency is developing a proposed rule with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

But the USDA added that "until a decision is made through rulemaking that such products are products under FDA's jurisdiction, they remain under FSIS' jurisdiction, and manufacturers of these products need to respond accordingly".

The USDA is currently inviting comments regarding its latest notice.

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