The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has launched a new web-based label approval system aimed at streamlining the agency’s review process for meat, poultry, and egg product labels.
According to FSIS, the Label Submission Approval System (LSAS) will make it possible for food manufacturers to submit label applications electronically, will flag application submission errors that could delay the approval process, and will allow users to track the progress of their submission.
Until the launch of LSAS, companies mailed or hand delivered paper applications to FSIS, and FSIS reviewed and corrected them before returning them in hard copy. The agency receives 150 to 200 label submissions daily, and it can take more than four weeks for a label to be reviewed. The web-based system will make approved or corrected labels immediately available to companies, saving time and mailing costs. The agency will continue to accept paper applications for label approval for those individuals who do not want to use the LSAS.
Label submissions are reviewed on a first come, first served basis, and FSIS will continue to review labels in the same manner using LSAS. If a company chooses to use LSAS to submit a label for approval, during the submission process, the system will notify the company if an application is incomplete through an error message. The system assigns each label a tracking number so the progress of its review can be tracked online. The system also includes an option to first see if the label qualifies for a generic approval before proceeding with a submission.
For more information, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/label_Submission_Approval_System.