The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued guidance for identifying, controlling and labeling allergens and other ingredients of public health concern through hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) plans, standard operating procedures (SOPs) or other prerequisite programs. Geared toward meat and poultry products, the guidance seeks to ensure “that product labels declare all ingredients, as required in the regulations, and that the product does not contain undeclared allergens or other undeclared ingredients.”
In particular, the agency points to “a sustained increase in the number of recalls of FSIS-regulated products that contained undeclared allergens,” noting that such recalls are “preventable, as many have been due to ingredient changes, product changes, products in the wrong package, or products with misprinted labels.” In addition to establishing best practices for SOPs and HACCP plans, the recommendations clarify how to properly process, handle, store, and label a product with an allergenic ingredient or ingredient of public health concern. The agency has requested comments by June 20, 2014. See Federal Register, April 21, 2014.