Animal Raising Claims – USDA FSIS

  • Animal Raising Claims – USDA FSIS

    Animal Raising Claims:

    The FSIS (USDA Food Safety Information Service) evaluates animal raising claims. Supporting documentation includes but is not limited to assessing protocols and controls, affidavits, and feed formulations, as needed.

    1) A detailed written description explaining the controls used for ensuring that the raising claim is valid from birth to harvest. Or the period of raising being referenced by the claim.
    2) A signed and dated document describing how the animals are raised (e.g., vegetarian fed, raised without antibiotics, grass fed), to support that the specific claim made is truthful and not misleading.
    3) A written description of the product tracing and segregation mechanism from the time of slaughter or further processing through packaging and wholesale or retail distribution.
    4) A written explanation of the identification, control, and segregation of non-conforming animals/product.
    5) A current copy of the certificate if a third-party certifies a claim.

    In addition to all of your packaging, all claims have to be approved by OPPD Labeling and Program Delivery Staff (LPDS). Plan well in advance. In my experience, the first label can take from 6 months to 1 year to get approved. It is painfully slow.

    FSIS USDA Guide:

    Examples of claims:

    -Grass Fed
    -Animal Welfare and Environmental Stewardship
    -Raised without Hormones
    *No Added Hormones. Hormones are only approved for use in beef cattle and sheep production. Therefore, the claim on other species of meat cannot be supported unless it is further qualified, e.g., linked to the statement on the same panel as the claim “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in poultry (or pork, veal, or exotic, non-amenable meat products)”
    -Breeds of Beef (Angus, Piedmontese, Wagyu), Poultry (Silkie, Plymouth Rock), Pork (Berkshire, Duroc)
    -Raised Without Antibiotics
    -AMS Process Verified Program – 3rd Party Certification
    -Living/Raising/Raising Conditions (These claims refer to the environment in which the animals were raised during their lifespan)

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