Agency To Allow Two Chemicals To Be Added To Pizza Toppings, Meatballs
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Meat processors soon will be allowed to add two chemicals, BHA and BHT, to cooked and raw pizza toppings and meatballs so they stay fresh longer, the Agriculture Department said Tuesday.
They are food preservatives generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, said Donald L. Houston, head of the department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The agency has already approved BHA and BHT for use in hamburger patties, which he said are similar to hamburger pizza toppings and meatballs.
Houston said that when BHA and BHT are used in meat products ″they suppress the chemical reaction of fat and oxygen that causes rancidity and as a result, the products remain fresh longer.″
BHA stands for butylated hyroxyanisole, and BHT is butylated hydroxytoluene.
Under the rule change, processors will be allowed to add the two chemicals, in combination, to cooked or raw pizza toppings and meatballs at levels not to exceed 0.02 percent of the products’ fat and oil content, Houston said.
The rule change, which will be effective Sept. 9, was in response to a petition by Tony’s Pizza Service, Salina, Kan., and Rotanelli Foods Inc., New Rochelle, N.Y.
Public comments on the approval of the chemicals will be accepted until then. Those can be sent to: USDA, FSIS, Regulations Office, Linda Carey, Hearing Clerk, Room 3806, South Building, Washington, D.C. 20250.