Perishable Uncured Meat and Poultry Products in Hermetically Sealed Containers

Establishments seeking approval of label applications for perishable, uncured products which have received a less rigorous heat treatment than traditionally canned product (9 CFR 318 and 381, SUBPARTS G and X, respectively) must submit a sufficiently detailed processing procedure either incorporated on or attached to the FSIS Form 7234-1, APPLICATION FOR APPROVALS OF LABELS, MARKING OR DEVICE. The procedure must include a description of product formulation, method(s) of preparation, cooking and cooling temperatures, type of container, and cooking and handling instructions.

Hermetically sealed containers include glass jars, metal cans, flexible retortable pouches, plastic semi-rigid containers, etc., that are airtight and/or impervious after filling and sealing.

The policy does not apply to raw meat or poultry, cooked or roast beef, cooked poultry rolls and similar products, whole or uncut cured products, or products that are distributed and marketed frozen. However, products containing cured meat or poultry as components in combination with raw vegetables, e.g., pasta salads and other chilled meat/poultry meals or entrees containing raw or partially cooked vegetables, are covered under this policy, provided the above-mentioned procedural attributes are indicative of the manufacturing process.

In addition, an approved partial quality control program (PQCP) is required which must address the critical points in the manufacturing process. As such, the PQCP must contain a detailed description of: ingredient storage controls, product formulation and preparation, container filling and sealing, any heat treatment (times/temperatures) applied, including a description of the equipment used, any other treatments applied, cooling procedures (times/temperatures), lot identification procedures; finished product storage conditions, in plant quality control procedures, and records maintenance procedures. The PQCP must be forwarded to the Processed Products Inspection Division (PPID) for appropriate review and approval before the product label may be used. Guidelines for development of PQCP's for these products may be obtained from PPID upon request.

See: Policy Memo 110 dated December 8, 1987