New Expanded Testing to Enhance Consumer Safeguards for Illegal Drug Residues
This week, FSIS announced new steps to safeguard the food supply and protect consumers nationwide. Later this
summer, USDA will launch a new approach to its testing to protect the public from exposure to harmful levels of
chemical residues in meat, poultry and egg products.
Through its National Residue Program (NRP), FSIS tests for the presence of chemical compounds, including approved
(legal) and unapproved (illegal) veterinary drugs, pesticides, hormones and environmental contaminants that may
appear in meat, poultry and egg products. The new, modern, high-efficiency methods that FSIS announced this week
will conserve resources and provide useful and reliable results while enabling the agency to analyze each sample
for more chemical compounds than previously possible.
One of the multi-residue methods being implemented for veterinary drugs will allow FSIS to screen for chemical
compounds that include several types of legal and illegal drugs such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and
growth promoters. In the past, FSIS would have collected 300 samples from 300 cows and looked for just one
chemical at a time. Under the new system, one sample may be tested for as many as 55 pesticide chemicals, 9
kinds of antibiotics, various metals and eventually more than 50 other chemicals. In all, FSIS will assess more
compounds per sample using several multi-residue methods.
FSIS is also revamping its scheduled sampling program to increase the annual number of samples per slaughter class
from 300 to 800. If an establishment has samples containing illegal residue levels, FSIS will notify the FDA, which
may review practices of producers supplying the establishment with livestock or poultry, and FSIS may subject the
establishment to increased testing and review.
The agency is inviting interested persons to submit comment on the Federal Register at www.regulations.gov. The new
testing regiment is expected to take effect 30 days after the Federal Register notice is published.
FSIS Updates Pesticides Test Method
FSIS is announcing that it intends to modify the Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook Method for Screening and
Confirmation of Pesticides by LC/MS/MS and GC/MS/MS. The new method will be used to analyze for pesticide
residues in sheep and goat muscle.
The method will be posted to the FSIS Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook once finalized. The agency intends to begin
using the method on Aug. 6. To review the revisions to the guidebook, visit
USDA Offers Food Safety Tips In Aftermath of Devastating Storm
FSIS issued food safety recommendations for affected residents recovering from a devastating storm that left millions
without power in states stretching from as far west as Ohio through Virginia and West Virginia to New Jersey.
"In the wake of this past weekend's storms we want to make sure that those without power are taking the
necessary precautions to avoid foodborne illness," USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen
An FSIS Public Service Announcement (PSA) illustrating practical food safety recommendations for handling and
consuming foods stored in refrigerators and freezers during and after a power outage is available in 30- and 60-second
versions at www.fsis.usda.gov/news/Food_Safety_PSA. News organizations
and power companies can obtain hard copy (Beta and DVD) versions of the PSA by contacting FSIS' Food Safety Education
Staff at (301) 344-4757.
Videos about food safety during power outages are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language on
FSIS' YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/USDAFoodSafety.
Podcasts regarding food safety during severe weather, power outages and flooding are also available in English
and Spanish at www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours
a day at www.AskKaren.gov or m.AskKaren.gov
on your smartphone. Mobile Ask Karen can also be downloaded from the Android app store. Consumers can email,
chat with a live representative or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline directly from the app. To use these
features on the app, simply choose "Contact Us" from the menu. The live chat option and the toll-free
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), are available in English and Spanish from l0 a.m.
to 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following countries:
Complete information can be found at
- People's Republic of China
Comment Period Extended for HACCP Systems Validation
FSIS extended the comment period 30 days for the Federal Register notice that clarifies requirements for
validation and for the guidance document to assist establishments in meeting the validation requirements.
The original deadline to submit comments on both documents was July 9; the new deadline to receive comments is
now Aug. 9. FSIS extended the comment period in response to a request from an industry association that stated
small businesses with multiple HACCP processing categories need additional time to evaluate the draft guidance
Comments may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov or by mail to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, FSIS, Docket Clerk, Patriots Plaza III, 355 E St. S.W., 8-163A, Mailstop 3782,
Washington, DC 20250-3700. All items submitted must include docket number FSIS-2009-0019.
Updates on FSIS Testing for E. coli
Weekly updates for the agency's raw beef E. coli sampling program are posted to the FSIS website.
For comparative previous and current year results, go to
FSIS Policy Updates
FSIS issues notices and directives to protect public health. All notices and directives are available at
The following policy updates were recently issued:
- Notice 45-12, Seventh Food Defense Plan Survey
- Directive 7120.1 Rev. 12, Safe and Suitable Ingredients Used in the Production of Meat, Poultry and Egg Products
July 6, 2012