FDA and USDA: Who Regulates What?
Deciphering whether meat and poultry products are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can be tricky. It’s not quite as simple as asking “is it meat or not?” Registrar Corp created this guide to help industry understand the difference in FDA and USDA jurisdiction.
USDA is responsible for poultry. Under the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), poultry is defined as any domesticated bird. This includes domesticated chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and guineas. USDA also inspects ratites and squab, including emus. These birds are exempt from FDA’s Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) to the extent they are covered by the PPIA. Non-specified birds, such as wild turkeys, wild ducks, and wild geese, are under FDA jurisdiction.
USDA is responsible for regulating cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, and other equine, along with their carcasses and parts. These meats are exempt from the FD&C Act to the extent they are covered by the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Non-specified red meats, such as bison, rabbits, game animals, zoo animals, and all members of the deer family including elk and moose, are under FDA jurisdiction.
Shell eggs of domestic chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, or guinea are under FDA jurisdiction. FDA regulates egg processing plants, such as plants that wash, sort, and pack eggs. Egg products, such as dried, frozen, or liquid eggs, are under USDA jurisdiction. USDA regulates egg product processing plants, such as plants that break and pasteurize eggs.
FDA is responsible for products not included in USDA’s definition of “egg products”, as well as establishments not covered by USDA. Examples include restaurants, bakeries, and cake mix plants.
Products Containing Meat and Poultry
For products containing poultry, products with less than 2% cooked poultry meat and less than 10% cooked poultry skins, giblets, fat, and poultry meat (limited to less than 2%) in any combination are under FDA jurisdiction. Those with 2% or more cooked poultry and more than 10% cooked poultry skins, giblets, fat, and poultry meat in any combination are under USDA jurisdiction.
For products containing other meats, products with less than 3% raw meat, less than 2% cooked meat or other portions of the carcass, or less than 30% fat, tallow, or meat extract, alone or in combination, are under FDA jurisdiction. Those with more than 3% raw meat, 2% or more cooked meat or other portions of the carcass, or 30% or more fat, tallow ,or meat extract, alone or in combination, are under USDA jurisdiction.
The list above may not be all-inclusive. Contact Registrar Corp for help determining the jurisdiction and regulations for a specific product.