The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) has updated its guidance for calculating retained water in meat and poultry products.

The guideline provides formulas and examples for calculating retained water in products and recommendations to ensure the retained water protocol provides accurate data for labeling determinations. FSIS encourages meat and poultry establishments to review the guidance and revise protocols as appropriate. Establishments will have until September 30, 2024 to submit their revised protocols to the Risk Management and Innovations Staff via askFSIS for review. Establishments will have until April 1, 2025, to make any necessary label changes.

Establishments may reach out via askFSIS (select New Technology as the Inquiry Type) with questions about the guidance or on the necessity of a revised protocol. Comments may be submitted on the guideline on or before May 31, 2024.