Yesterday, FSIS issued its long-awaited guidance on the labeling and packaging of “kit” products. Although FSIS has long informally applied its “kit policy,” this FSIS Compliance Guideline marks the first public guidance that FSIS has provided on the topic. The Compliance Guideline generally reflects the Agency’s informal policy without significant change.
Under its kit policy, FSIS allows certain multi-component products containing a separately packaged meat or poultry component to be assembled and labeled without FSIS inspection, provided the product and label meet certain requirements. Importantly, the kit policy exempts these products from FSIS inspection and label approval, but FSIS still has jurisdiction over the products. The Agency is currently requesting comments on the Guideline. However, FSIS is encouraging industry to begin using the guidance immediately.