Imported Food Products Containing a Small Amount of Meat, Poultry, or Processed Egg Product Ingredients
The Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act and the FSIS implementing regulations provide FSIS with the authority to ensure that meat, poultry, or egg products are safe, wholesome, and not adulterated. These authorities also allow FSIS to exempt from inspection certain foods that contain small amounts of meat, poultry or egg products as an ingredient, provided that the meat, poultry, or egg product component of these products is from an approved or eligible source.
For meat and poultry, the FSIS policy is:
In the case of meat, the “relatively small proportions” of meat ingredients are:
- 3% or less raw meat;
- Less than 2% cooked meat or other portions of the carcass; or
- 30% or less fat, tallow or meat extract, alone or in combination.
In the case of poultry, the “relatively small proportions” are:
- Less than 2% cooked poultry meat;
- Less than 10% cooked poultry skins, giblets, or fat, separately; or
- Less than 10% cooked poultry skins, giblets, fat, and poultry meat (limited to less than 2%) in any combination.
The meat or poultry ingredients used in FSIS-exempted products must be from an eligible source. To be from an eligible source, the product must be prepared under USDA/FSIS inspection or in a foreign establishment certified by a foreign inspection system determined equivalent by FSIS.
For egg products, FSIS recognizes four approved sources. The egg product ingredient must be:
- prepared under USDA/FSIS inspection;
- prepared for export to the United States in a foreign establishment certified by a foreign inspection system that has been determined equivalent by FSIS;
- derived from shell eggs that were broken, pasteurized, and properly stored prior to being incorporated into the food product; or
- derived directly from shell eggs broken and immediately incorporated into the resulting food product.
Egg ingredients from broken shell eggs, as noted in item (4) above, that are not immediately incorporated into the resulting food product, must meet the requirements of item (3) above.
Importers of products containing small amounts of meat, poultry, or egg products used as an ingredient and originating from countries with animal health restrictions that are exempt from FSIS reinspection must apply for and obtain a VS-permit from USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).