No standards of identity have been promulgated for canned dried bean products such as pork and beans. It has for years been recognized by consumers generally that the designation "Beans with Pork" or "Pork and Beans" is the common or usual name for an article of commerce that contains very little pork. Trade Correspondence 137, stated that the predominant ingredient, beans, need not come first in the name.
Although consideration has been given to establishing standards for pork and beans, baked beans, vegetarian beans, and possibly others, the Food and Drug Administration has only limited information on which to base such standards and considerable expense would be involved acquiring first hand information. We have no evidence indicating that consumers are being significantly deceived by such products as currently being marketed.
Until standards of identity are established the following are considered reasonable compliance guides for composition and labeling of canned pork and bean products.
The name "Pork and Beans" or "Beans with Pork" is the common or usual name for a food prepared from dry mature beans of the species Phaseolus vulgaris L., with pork, and with a packing medium or sauce consisting of water and/or other safe and suitable ingredients.
The bean ingredient in such articles is generally expected to be of the pea (navy) variety in which case the name of the variety is not necessary in the name of the food. In cases where the beans used are not of the pea variety, such as the pinto bean or red kidney bean, the consumer is entitled to this information and the label should bear the name of the bean variety used which should appear as part of the name of the food, for example, "Pinto Beans with Pork."
All ingredients of these products should be named on the label in order of descending predominance.
Submit comments on this guidance document electronically via docket ID: FDA-2013-S-0610 - Specific Electronic Submissions Intended For FDA's Dockets Management Staff (i.e., Citizen Petitions, Draft Proposed Guidance Documents, Variances, and other administrative record submissions)
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