The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to amend the definition and standard of identity for the “roaster” or “roasting chicken” poultry class to better reflect the characteristics of the current market. The agency is seeking the public’s input on this possible change.

Roasters or roasting chickens are described in terms of the age and ready-to-cook (RTC) carcass weight of the bird. Genetic changes and management techniques have continued to reduce the grow-out period and increased the RTC weight for this poultry class. Therefore, FSIS is proposing to amend the roaster definition to remove the 8-week minimum age criterion and increase the RTC carcass weight from 5 pounds to 5.5 pounds. This action is being taken in response to a petition submitted by the National Chicken Council.

Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments may also be mailed to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

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All items submitted by mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2015-0026.

FSIS stated that comments on the proposed change must be received on or before October 19.