On April 17, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a proposed rule that would eliminate the requirement that certain packages of meat or poultry products display net weights using the so-called “dual declaration” format (e.g., requiring that some products declare weight in both pounds and ounces). The proposed rule, entitled Rescission of Dual Labeling Requirements for Certain Packages of Meat and Poultry (“Proposed Rule”), would eliminate the dual declaration net weight requirement for meat or poultry products in packages of at least one pound or one pint, but less than four pounds or one gallon.
FSIS issued the proposed rule based on a response to its docket seeking public comments on ways that FSIS could reform its regulatory programs and provide better service to its constituents. The proposed rule reinforces that FSIS is reviewing and acting on some industry recommendations. Companies may wish to consider whether there are additional opportunities for FSIS regulatory reform.
Importantly, this proposed change would be limited to meat and poultry product labels regulated by FSIS. FDA-regulated products would not be affected by this change.