USDA approves use of new antimicrobial for RTE meat, poultry

March 12, 2013

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), an agency of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), has announced it will add liquid sodium propionate to the list of approved antimicrobials for use in ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products.

Kemin Industries first petitioned FSIS requesting the amendment of 9 CFR 424.21(c) to list liquid sodium propionate as an acceptable antimicrobial agent for use in RTE meat and poultry products in 2010. Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and FSIS, the FDA reviewed the ingredients for Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status and FSIS for suitability as an antimicrobial in various meat and poultry products. The FDA concluded liquid sodium propionate to be GRAS. The petition was posted for public comments on the Federal Register on May 7, 2012. The Final Rule was approved on March 7, 2013, and liquid sodium propionate will be added to the next FSIS Directive 7120.1 revision. Effective May 6, 2013, liquid sodium propionate can be used without an in-plant waiver.

The amended regulation will allow RTE meat and poultry manufacturers to use Kemin Industries’ liquid antimicrobial, BactoCEASE, as an alternative to traditional lactates without an in-plant waiver. Until now, lactates have been the primary option for controlling Listeria monocytogenes in RTE meat and poultry. Research studies have shown that lactates perform inconsistently in controlling foodborne pathogens in deli meats.

“This is a game-changer for manufacturers of ready-to-eat meat and poultry products and consumers who value the quality and safety of those foods,” said Chris Nelson, Kemin President and CEO. “It’s also very gratifying to Kemin researchers and scientists who dedicate themselves to providing breakthroughs and ingredients that improve the lives of others.”

Press release

Petition (pdf)