The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule amending its regulations “for thermally-processed low-acid foods packaged in hermetically sealed containers to allow other temperature-indicating devices, in addition to mercury-in-glass thermometers, during processing.” The final rule follows from a March 14, 2007, proposal covered in Issue 207 of this Update.

Effective March 5, 2012, the new regulation also “establishes recordkeeping requirements” for alternative temperature-indicating devices, “allows for the use of advanced technology for measuring and recording temperatures,” and “includes metric equivalents of avoirdupois (U.S.) measurements where appropriate.” In addition, it permits low-acid canned food processors “to transition from mercury-in-glass thermometers to alternative temperature-indicating devices,” which will “eliminate concerns about potential contamination of the food or the processing environment from broken mercury-in-glass thermometers.” See The Federal Register, March 3, 2011.