The United States department of agriculture (USDA)'s food safety and inspection service is proposing to amend the official poultry class standards of identity to more accurately describe poultry sold in the marketplace today. The FSIS claims to use poultry class standards to ensure that poultry products are labeled in a truthful and non-misleading manner.
After examining current poultry production methods and poultry class standards of identity, the FSIS has determined the existing standards are outdated and too broad to accurately represent poultry being produced today. Advancements in breeding and husbandry have generally shortened the period of time required for birds to attain market-ready weights.
For example, 30 years ago, it took 12 to 13 weeks to produce birds with the physical characteristics of broilers, which are now being produced in as little as six to eight weeks. The proposed classifications would more clearly describe the age and breeding of poultry classes and enhance FSIS' ability to enforce labeling claims.
"FSIS continually strives to keep regulations aligned with advances in the market place," said FSIS administrator Dr Garry L. McKee. "Ultimately, revising outdated poultry class standards of identity will result in more accurate labeling for consumers."