The Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), and their implementing regulations, provide for certain exemptions from USDA jurisdiction (and, therefore, inspection), e.g., products prepared for human consumption that contain meat or poultry ingredients in relatively small proportions, or are not considered by consumers to be products of the meat or poultry industry. Generally, the USDA has determined by policy that the "relatively small proportions" of livestock ingredients are: 3 percent or less raw meat; less than 2 percent cooked meat or other portions of the carcass; or 30 percent or less fat, tallow or meat extract, alone or in combination. In the case of poultry, the "relatively small proportions" are: less than 2 percent cooked poultry meat; less than 10 percent cooked poultry skins, giblets or fat, separately; or less than 10 percent cooked poultry skins, giblets, fat and poultry meat (limited to less than 2 percent) in any combination (refe r to 9 CFR Part 381.15(a)). For dried products containing poultry, these percentages are computed on the basis of the moist cooked chicken in the ready to serve product when prepared according to the directions on the consumer package. Regarding the second exemption criterion, the USDA has determined the application of the "historical perception" criterion to food products containing meat or poultry on a case-by-case basis.

Some products that are exempted from USDA jurisdiction based on the criteria above include stocks or broths prepared with "relatively small amounts" of meat or poultry, bouillon cubes, dehydrated meat soups, cheese balls with pepperoni, pork and beans, closed-face sandwiches, mince meat, bagel dogs, and pepperoni rolls. A condition for the application of these exemptions is that product exempt from USDA jurisdiction must still be prepared with USDA inspected meat or poultry product or meat or poultry from an inspection system equivalent to the USDA inspection system. In addition, generally, any product exempted from USDA jurisdiction cannot be represented as a meat food or poultry product, except as provided in the meat or poultry regulations. A product is deemed as representing a meat food or poultry product if a term representing meat or poultry is used on labeling, e.g., in the product name, without appropriate qualification.