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SMALL BUSINESS NEWS

11 Jan 2016

 

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Country of Origin Labeling Repealed

Small businesses in the meat industry (supermarkets, grocery stores, etc.) will no longer have to worry about abiding by the Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements.

Included in the omnibus bill passed by congress is the repeal of the COOL requirement.  Due to repeated rulings against the United States and the authorization of financial sanctions by the World Trade Organization (WTO), congress decided to act.

According to the USDA the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a labeling law that requires retailers, such as full-line grocery stores, supermarkets and club warehouse stores, to notify their customers with information regarding the source of certain foods. Food products covered by the law include muscle cut and ground meats: lamb, goat, and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts; and ginseng.

However, the COOL requirement was only discontinued for muscle cut and ground beef and pork items.  COOL regulatory requirements are still in effect for the remaining covered commodities: muscle cut and ground chicken, lamb, and goat; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, and ginseng.

Changes in the  law takes effect immediately, but, the USDA will be amending the COOL regulation as expeditiously as possible to reflect the repeal of muscle cut and ground beef and pork items.  Effective immediately, USDA will not enforce the COOL requirements for muscle cut and ground beef and pork items.

Visit the USDA COOL webpag to learn more.  Also, review the FSIS Meat and Poultry Labeling Guidance to ensure that your small business is in compliance with labeling requirements for food products.

 

Sources:
USDA COOL webpage
FSIS Meat and Poultry Labeling Guidance
FDA Food Labeling Guidance


By Bill Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

  
 

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