Proposals made to amend weighing standards for meat, poultry

By Ahmed ElA,min

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Poultry products

The federal government's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
wants to amend weighing standards for meat and poultry products.

The amendments would bring the inspection agency's weighing standards -- and the variations permitted when processors package products -- into line with the revised version of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) handbook.

They would take precedence over state standards, resulting in a harmonised system.

The NIST handbook contains standards for determining the reasonable variations allowed for the declared net weight on labels of containers of meat and poultry products.

The procedures used to determine the net weight and net weight compliance of meat and poultry products and related definitions would be amended under the proposals.

The agency also wants to consolidate the separate net weight regulations for meat and poultry products, making the standards applicable to both meat and poultry products.

The amendments would apply to regulations falling under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

Both acts require processors to make accurate statements of the quantity of meat or poultry in packaged products, in terms of weight, measure or numerical count.

The NIST is a federal agency that develops standards for measurement methods. The NIST Handbook 133 is a procedural guide for compliance testing of net content statements on packaged goods.

The NIST standards in the handbook for determining the reasonable variations allowed from the declared net weight on labels is mandatory under FSIS regulations.

FSIS believes the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The deadline for comments on the proposals is May 30.

A copy of the federal docket describing the proposals is available here​.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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