On December 19, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published in the Federal Register an announcement that January 1, 2020, will be the uniform compliance date for meat and poultry labeling regulations that are issued in calendar years 2017 and 2018. This action does not change existing requirements for compliance dates contained in final rules published before January 1, 2017.  If any food labeling regulation involves special circumstances that justify a compliance date other than January 1, 2020, USDA will determine an appropriate compliance date and will publish that compliance date in the rulemaking.

Please note that FSIS has released a prepublication version of their proposed rule revising Nutrition Facts Labels for meat and poultry products and reference amounts customarily consumed.  FSIS has proposed that it will not apply the January 1, 2020, date to the Nutrition Facts Labeling revisions because it intends to give businesses 24 months to comply (for small businesses the period is 36 months) and this proposed compliance date is likely to occur after January 1, 2020.  FSIS is allowing businesses to label items with FDA’s new Nutrition Facts Labels on a voluntary basis until the new FSIS Nutrition Facts Label requirements are effective.

Please contact Erik Lieberman at erl1@liebermanpllc.com or 202.830.0300 if you have questions or would like additional information.