USDA Seeks Comments on Proposed Updates to its Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications

October 01, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it is seeking comments on proposed updates to its Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications (IMPS) maintained by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The updates to the voluntary consensus specifications were recommended by a committee of meat industry experts.

The specifications, which were last updated in 2014, serve as a baseline for the Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standard (URMIS) and are referenced by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Labeling and Program Delivery Staff (LPDS) for use in acceptable generic meat product labeling nomenclature. In addition, the IMPS are consistent with the Canadian specifications for meat cuts nomenclature and labeling found in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Wholesale Meat Specifications Document. The IMPS also are used as the basis for the Meat Buyer’s Guide, published by the North American Meat Institute, as a pictorial representation of meat cuts and specifications for purchasing. Large volume purchasers, such as federal, state and local government agencies, schools, hotels and restaurants, reference the specifications when buying meat products.

The drafts of the proposed updated specifications can be found at: Comments and questions about these proposed changes can be directed to Bucky Gwartney via e-mail at or by phone at (202) 768-0659. AMS is proposing that these updated specifications take effect on December 1, 2020.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender