Opinions Sought on Redefining Roasting Chickens in US

24 August 2015, at 12:00am

US - The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is considering redefining what they view as 'roasting chickens', as modern birds have different characteristics to when the classification was originally introduced.

'Roasters' or 'roasting chickens' are described in terms of the age and ready-to-cook (RTC) carcass weight of the bird. Poultry classifications were introduced in the US to aid labelling of poultry products, and prevent mis-labelling.

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.

FSIS is asking for comments on the proposed redefinition, using the website:

The National Chicken Council asked for the changes to the regulations as the organisation believed this would make it difficult for producers to market birds as roasters when they were under 8 weeks of age, even if they had other qualities characteristic of roasting chickens.