Acidified & Low-Acid Canned Foods Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information
Due to increased telework to mitigate COVID19, there will be an increased delay in processing paper submissions. It is recommended that whenever possible you submit registrations and process filings electronically. If you need additional assistance please send an e-mail to LACF@FDA.HHS.GOV with your issue stated in the subject line.
Federal Regulations require commercial processors of shelf stable acidified foods and low-acid canned foods in a hermetically sealed container to be sold in the United States to register each establishment and file scheduled processes with the Food and Drug Administration for each product, product style, container size and type and processing method (21 CFR 108). This website contains instructions for establishment registration and process filing along with other information useful to manufacturers of these types of products.
A low-acid canned food (LACF) is any food (other than alcoholic beverages) with a finished equilibrium pH greater than 4.6 and a water activity greater than 0.85, excluding tomatoes and tomato products having a finished equilibrium pH less than 4.7.
An acidified food (AF) is a low-acid food to which acid(s) or acid food(s) are added and which has a finished equilibrium pH of 4.6 or below and a water activity (aw) greater than 0.85.
Guidance for Industry
Guidance documents contain nonbinding recommendations
- Guidance for Industry: Low-Acid Foods Packaged in Hermetically Sealed Containers (LACF) Regulation and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (December 2021)
- Guidance for Industry: Submitting Form FDA 2541 (Food Canning Establishment Registration) and Forms FDA 2541d, FDA 2541e, FDA 2541f, and FDA 2541g (Food Process Filing Forms) to FDA in Electronic or Paper Format (November 2016)
- Guidance for Industry: Dear Manufacturer Letter Regarding Changes to FDA’s Administration of Process Filings (Forms FDA 2541a and FDA 2541c) for Acidified Foods and Low-Acid Canned Foods (January 2014)
Establishment Registration & Process Filing
All commercial processors of low-acid and acidified foods located in the United States and all processors in other countries who export low-acid canned food or acidified food products into the United States must register their processing plants with FDA. Wholesalers, importers, distributors, brokers, etc. are not required to register and file processes. However, they must ensure that processing firms they represent comply with all registration and process filing requirements.