Secretary Mike Johanns Announces Japanese Beef Trade Agreement
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced an agreement on June 21, regarding the status for the resumption of U.S.
beef trade with Japan.
"Although this agreement is another step toward the resumption of beef trade with Japan, I will not be satisfied
until U.S. beef is once again accepted into the Japanese market," said Johanns.
The Secretary also announced that Japanese audit teams will arrive in the United States this weekend and conclude their
work by July 21. Upon completion of the audits, Japan has agreed to expeditiously resume beef trade.
Johanns stated, "Ultimately, it is our goal to complete the Japanese audits with all plants that have met U.S.
requirements to export beef to Japan being approved to do so at the same time. I cannot emphasize strongly enough the
importance of Japan recognizing the U.S. food safety inspection system as a single, effective system and acting
accordingly in resuming trade.
"When that occurs, my expectation is that minor noncompliance issues will not disrupt our entire trading relationship.
Instead, Japan has agreed to notify us of such issues and discuss the appropriate course, such as the rejection of individual
shipments, if appropriate."
"Japan has been conducting an exhaustive examination to confirm the safety of U.S. beef and these audits must
constitute the final step. We have instituted numerous changes in our system, answered every question posed by Japan, a
nd delivered an abundance of factual, science-based assurances that U.S. beef is safe. It is time for beef trade to
resume with Japan."
FSIS Begins Outreach Sessions for Small and Very Small Plants
This week, FSIS began outreach sessions for small and very small plants. FSIS invited small and very small plant owners
and operators to join agency and state inspection personnel at outreach sessions to bring industry and inspectors
together to promote a uniform understanding of the regulations.
The purpose of these outreach sessions is to review basic regulatory principles with small and very small plant owners
and operators, providing them with information to enhance the design and implementation of their food safety systems.
The sessions, conducted by FSIS' regional trainers, were held in Athens and Atlanta, GA, and in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The sessions covered an overview of FSIS' Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control
Point and Rules of Practice regulations.
Bobby Palesano, deputy executive associate of FSIS' Office of Policy, Program and Employee Development and co-leader of
FSIS' task force on small and very small plant outreach, led the sessions in Georgia. "Nearly every industry
representative told me they were very appreciative of the sessions and think the outreach initiative is a step in the
right direction," said
For a schedule of upcoming sessions, visit FSIS' Web site at
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News & Events/Meetings & Events/
FSIS Issues Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
FSIS published a Federal Register notice on June 23, titled, Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently
Approved Information Collection (Exportation, Transportation, and Importation of Meat and Poultry Products).
This notice announces that FSIS is requesting an extension of a currently approved information collection regarding
exportation, transportation and importation of meat and poultry products.
The agency is accepting comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at
http://www.regulations.gov and by electronic mail at FSIS.RegulationsComments@usda.gov.
This notice is available on FSIS' Web site at
FSIS Issues Notice on Nominations for Membership on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods
FSIS published a Federal Register notice on June 23, titled, Nominations for Membership on the National Advisory
Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.
This notice announces that USDA is soliciting nominations for membership on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria
for Foods. Nominations for membership are being sought from individuals with scientific expertise in the fields of epidemiology,
food technology, microbiology (food, clinical and predictive), risk assessment, infectious disease, biostatistics and other
Persons from state and federal governments, industry, consumer groups and academia, as well as all other interested
persons, are invited to submit nominations. Members who are not federal government employees will be appointed to serve
as non-compensated special government employees.
The agency is accepting comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov
and by electronic mail at FSIS.RegulationsComments@usda.gov.
This notice is available on FSIS' Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Frame/FrameRedirect.asp?main=
FSIS Issues News Release on Summer Grilling
FSIS issued a news release on June 20 to offer food safety advice for summer grilling.
"The risk of foodborne illness increases during the summer months because disease-causing bacteria grow faster on
raw meat and poultry products in warmer weather," said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond.
"Bacteria also need moisture to flourish and summer weather, often hot and humid, provides the perfect conditions."
The news release addresses the four key recommendations that can help keep friends and family safe from foodborne illness
and provides important recommendations for grillers.
The news release is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/
FSIS Posts Quarterly Progress Report on Salmonella Testing of Raw Meat and Poultry Products
FSIS posted on its Web site the quarterly progress report on Salmonella testing of selected raw and meat poultry
products. This quarterly report provides preliminary data from the first three months of 2006.
In February 2006, FSIS posted in the Federal Register its intention to publish results quarterly and to change
how it used the results from its Salmonella verification sampling program for meat and poultry establishments
as a way to enhance public health protection.
FSIS is now providing results from individual Salmonella verification sample tests the agency regularly conducts
at meat and poultry establishments to establishments that have asked to be informed of various tests.
The quarterly report is available on FSIS' Web site at
Export Tip of the Week
As a reminder, a "replacement certificate" for the FSIS Form 9060-5, Meat and Poultry Export Certificate of
Wholesomeness, should only be issued if: (1) the original certificate was lost; (2) the original certificate
contained incorrect information; (3) the original certificate was not complete; or (4) the name of the exporter has changed.
Replacement certificates may be issued for other reasons, but these are the primary conditions for which they are issued.
Replacement certificates must be dated with the same date as that shown on the original certificate.
Replacement certificates do not represent the product's current condition but rather the condition of the product at the
time of the initial export certification.
Visit FSIS' Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/
to learn more about requirements for exporting products to other countries.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following:
Complete information can be found at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/
FSIS' 100 Years Commemorative Web Page
This year, FSIS celebrates 100 years of protecting the food supply under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.
To access FSIS' 100 years commemorative Web page, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/100years/.
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
Food safety experts are available year-round Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time to answer questions
about safely preparing and cooking foods.
The toll-free number is 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), TTY: 1-800-256-7072. Recorded messages are available 24 hours a day.
FSIS' virtual representative can answer your questions 24 hours day, seven days a week.
Visit "Ask Karen" at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Safety_Education/
June 23, 2006