USDA Safe Handling Instructions Label for Meat and Poultry – FREE Vector Graphic Download

The Safe Handling File That the USDA Forgot to Provide to Designers So They Can Make a Decent Package Design for Their Bacon Product.

Tender Belly Bacon Safe Handling Instructions Label Design

If you’re in a hurry just download the Print Quality Vector USDA Safe Handling Instructions Graphic now.

Got a minute? Then read on.

I’m designing the packaging for a new line of premium natural bacon for Tender Belly. This bacon is the real deal – all natural, hormone free, cherry wood smokey and sweetened with maple syrup. However when it comes time to place the USDA safe handling instructions that are required for all meat products, I’m stuck with a low resolution gif file that they oddly call a “reproducible master”, or a jpg file that they call “larger”. The gif file is unusable and the jpg is just not good enough for printing if you are at all serious about package design.

So I decided to make my own based upon the USDA official Safe Handling Instructions and Guidlines.

It came out really nice, and since no one else has bothered, I figured I’d make it available for everyone to use.

So download my improved Print Quality Vector USDA Safe Handling Instructions Graphic.

FREE Bonus USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Included in Safe Handling Document

The USDA doesn’t provide edible vector files for Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) icons either.

On the EST icon/bug Inspection mark on processed products, you just need to swap out the EST. (processing plant number).

On the inspection mark on raw poultry just swap the P number (poultry) number for your product.

The font is Akzindenz-Grotesk BQ


And if you have a product that needs some seriously good packaging design then email me or call 831-566-3046 to get started.

File Under: USDA Labels Requirements for Meat, Poultry and Pork – Bacon Package Design


  • Tim


    October 18, 2011
  • Thanks for doing what you did…I was sharing your frustration and then came across your work done for yourself and others with the safe handling and est # bug. You Rock!

    November 28, 2011
  • Jeremy

    Thanks for making this available. I was looking for specs to make a new label, but you saved me the trouble.

    November 30, 2011
  • David Dennison

    Thank you so much.

    April 17, 2012
  • Karen

    This is great! Thank you so much!

    August 27, 2012
  • Matt

    Do you have it in red?

    November 1, 2012
    • Clay Butler

      No, but you can easily change it to red in Illustrator.

      November 8, 2012
  • Thanks for the files! You just made my first package design sooo much easier! :)

    February 19, 2013
  • Mike

    Thank you so much for what you have done! I’m wondering if you have one which is a sharp pure black and white image, with no grey-scaling due to my barcode label printer limitation (DataMax-2 4212)? When I use the snippet taken from this PDF file and then convert the image to “Black and White 75%” in Excel it dithers – noticeable even on my screen and the printed result is not usable.

    October 20, 2014
    • Clay Butler

      The file has no greyscale. Putting it Excel is probably the problem. These are professional print quality files to be used in a professional layout program like Illustrator of InDesign.

      November 11, 2014
  • Jackie Wilson

    What a relief to have this file; it will make life so much simpler! Thank you so much for all your efforts.

    May 20, 2015
    • Clay Butler

      You’re welcome. Yeah, the USDA really left us all hanging on this one. I hope they steal my file and start distributing it.

      June 15, 2015
  • Kat

    Thanks so much!

    April 29, 2016

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