FDA: Alternative temperature-indication for processing Low-acid canned foods

Friday 23 March 2007

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule which, if finalized, would benefit both consumers and the food industry by enabling manufacturers of heat-processed low-acid canned foods to modernize their equipment by using alternative temperature-indicating devices (TIDs). Under the proposal, these devices, which are the state-of-the-art equipment for measuring and recording temperatures, may be used instead of, or in addition to, conventional mercury-in-glass thermometers (MIGs).

The agency will allow low-acid canned food manufacturers who follow the proposed rule to change immediately from the currently required MIGs to alternative TIDs. Although these TIDs remain out-of-compliance until the proposal is finalized, FDA will consider, on a case-by-case basis, exercising its enforcement discretion if the new devices are used in a manner consistent with the proposed rule. Processors who choose this option must comply with any revised requirements when the final rule becomes effective.

FDA is providing a 90-day comment period on the proposed rule. Interested persons can submit comments electronically to or in writing to the Division of Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305), 5630 Fishers Lane, room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submitted comments should be identified by Docket Number 2007N-0026.

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