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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of Mar 28, 2023.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 6]
[CITE: 21CFR570.3]



Subpart A - General Provisions

Sec. 570.3 Definitions.

(a) Secretary means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(b) Department means the Department of Health and Human Services.

(c) Commissioner means the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

(d) As used in this part, the term act means the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act approved June 25, 1936 (52 Stat. 1040 et seq., as amended; 21 U.S.C. 301-392).

(e) Food additives includes all substances not exempted by section 201(s) of the act, the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly, either in their becoming a component of food or otherwise affecting the characteristics of food. A material used in the production of containers and packages is subject to the definition if it may reasonably be expected to become a component, or to affect the characteristics, directly or indirectly, of food packed in the container. Affecting the characteristics of food does not include such physical effects, as protecting contents of packages, preserving shape, and preventing moisture loss. If there is no migration of a packaging component from the package to the food, it does not become a component of the food and thus is not a food additive. A substance that does not become a component of food, but that is used, for example, in preparing an ingredient of the food to give a different flavor, texture, or other characteristic in the food, may be a food additive.

(f) Common use in food means a substantial history of consumption of a substance by a significant number of animals of the species to which the substance is intended to be fed (and, for food-producing animals fed with such substance, also means a substantial history of consumption by humans consuming human foods derived from those food-producing animals), prior to January 1, 1958.

(g) The word substance in the definition of the term food additive includes a food or feed or a component of a food or feed consisting of one or more ingredients.

(h) Scientific procedures include the application of scientific data (including, as appropriate, data from human, animal, analytical, or other scientific studies), information, and methods, whether published or unpublished, as well as the application of scientific principles, appropriate to establish the safety of a substance under the conditions of its intended use.

(i) Safe or safety means that there is a reasonable certainty in the minds of competent scientists that the substance is not harmful under the conditions of its intended use. It is impossible in the present state of scientific knowledge to establish with complete certainty the absolute harmlessness of the use of any substance. Safety may be determined by scientific procedures or by general recognition of safety. In determining safety, the following factors shall be considered:

(1) The probable consumption of the substance and of any substance formed in or on food because of its use;

(2) The cumulative effect of the substance in the diet, taking into account any chemically or pharmacologically related substance or substances in such diet;

(3) Safety factors which, in the opinion of experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate the safety of food and food ingredients, are generally recognized as appropriate.

(j) The term nonperishable processed food means any processed food not subject to rapid decay or deterioration that would render it unfit for consumption. Not included are hermetically sealed foods and other processed foods requiring refrigeration.

(k) General recognition of safety shall be in accordance with § 570.30.

(l) Prior sanction means an explicit approval granted with respect to use of a substance in food prior to September 6, 1958, by the Food Drug and Administration or the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or the Meat Inspection Act.

(m) Food includes human food, substances migrating to food from food-contact articles, pet food, and animal feed.

(n) Food-producing animal means an animal used to produce human food.

[41 FR 38644, Sept. 10, 1976, as amended at 42 FR 55206, Oct. 14, 1977; 81 FR 55051, Aug. 17, 2016]