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USDA agency Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has released an updated version of its guidelines for documentation needed to support animal-raising claims made on meat product labeling.

The updated guideline reflects changes made in response to comments on the guideline posted in October 2019.

FSIS allows certain labels with special statements or claims, including animal-raising claims, but they must be submitted to FSIS for approval before distributing in commerce.

Examples of claims could be “Vegetarian-fed,” “Grass-fed,” and “Raised without the use of antibiotics.”

FSIS has published the new guideline in order to advise establishments on the documents needed to support animal-raising claims for approved labeling.

A summarized list of major changes can be found on the FSIS website and include updates to factors such as: living or raising conditions; breed claims; and environmental stewardship claims.

Comments can be made online at by searching for docket number FSIS-2016-0021; or mailed to Docket Clerk, USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3758, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

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