How To Create Your Own Label

1. Develop a label picture/sketch that you like.
     Be sure to include:

  • the colors used on your application.
  • the address of the producer (you).
  • directions for handling of the product (ex. Keep Frozen).
  • a place for net weight, price, and cut of meat.
  • claims that you might be making (make sure to provide documentation for supporting all claims used on the label).

     Examples of supporting documentation relied upon to support claims:

  • Operational protocol, describing in detail the production practices employed
  • Affidavits and testimonials
  • Feed formulas
  • Certificates, e.g., certified organic ingredients
  • Remember DO NOT mislead the consumer in any way (watch your wording on the label. For further information on wording look at "United States Standards for Livestock and Meat Marketing Claims").
  • Any other questions please refer to 9 CFR 317.4 & 381.132 located in the Federal Register.

2. Complete the FSIS application form 7234-1.
     The following instructions should be typed unless otherwise noted on the labeling form

  • Preparation of Application

          Submit two copies of each label application. One additional copy is needed for Foreign, Child Nutrition, Animal Production, or Organic Claims.

  • Submission of Labels

Sketches for your label: Self Explanatory. (See 9 CFR 317.4 & 381.132). Quantity to submit: same as application (see above).

  • Foreign Language

Labels printed in foreign languages must be accompanied by English language translation.

  • Assembly of Application

Staple, with 1 staple only, page 1, page 2, etc., one copy each. Staple all copies of label to the back of application forms. If only page 1 is used, staple all copies together. Use as few staples as possible. (Do not use paper clips). 

3. Mail complete application to:
     USDA, FSIS, OPPDE, Labeling and Consumer Protection Staff
     1400 Independence Avenue, SW
     Room 614 - Annex Building
     Washington, DC 20250-3700

4. USDA evaluation process:
     Animal Production Claims > Outline of Current Process

5. Validation Process for Animal Production Claims

  • Evaluate labeling claims
  • Provide or deny labeling approval/return for additional supporting documentation
  • Update and maintain files (if the producer [you] is making any updates or revisions to the already approved label).

6. Evaluation of labeling claims

  • The USDA will mail either your label confirmation to you or your rejection notice. If you want to follow your  application and its progression through the USDA's approval one may either online or over the phone.

Information gathered by Margaret Basurto - Updated 9/4/03