Secretary Johanns Announces Reopening
of Japanese Market to U.S. Beef
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced on July 27, the reopening
of the Japanese market to U.S. beef.
"I am pleased that Japan announced today it would resume imports
of U.S. beef from cattle 20 months of age and younger. This has
been a long process as we've confirmed that our system is in full
compliance with Japan's import requirements and provided Japan with
clear, scientific data confirming that American beef is extremely
safe. It is gratifying to know that these efforts paid off, as did
the patience demonstrated by Congress," said Johanns.
Johanns stated, "It is unfortunate that the trade resumption launched
last December was cut short in January of this year. Nations need
reasonable methods of addressing the inadvertent shipment of products
that don't meet an importing country's specifications, without disrupting
an entire trading relationship. The U.S. has such methods of addressing
noncompliant shipments from Japan, as well as our other trading
partners, and I am hopeful that going forward Japan will take a
"As we look forward, we must also continue to strive to move beef
trade with Japan and throughout the world toward science-based international
guidelines. Science provides us with clear data upon which to build
trading standards. All of us must be mindful of these guidelines
and work toward complying with them.
"In 2003, the United States exported $1.4 billion worth of beef
and beef products to Japan. I look forward to the day when we resume
that level of trade. To that end, I have asked the Japanese government
to meet with us this fall to discuss the next steps toward strengthening
our beef trading relationship and graduating to standards based
FSIS Holds Technical Meeting on Updated Risk Model for
FSIS hosted a technical meeting on the Harvard Risk Assessment of
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States on July
25. The meeting updated food safety agencies and members of the
public on the scientific measures of BSE risk.
The agency requested an updated risk assessment model from the
university to evaluate the impact of measures implemented after
the December 2003 discovery of a BSE-positive cow in Washington
State, and recommendations made by an international BSE panel.
Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond said, "We have
the safest food supply in the world. The more people understand
the science behind it, the more they will believe us. In addition
to looking at the actions we have already taken, this report also
analyzes the recommendations made by the panel that was convened
to review the actions taken by the United States in response to
the BSE case in Washington State."
The updated risk assessment found that measures enacted by USDA
after the 2003 BSE case reduced the potential of human exposure
to BSE. The model shows that USDA's ban on non-ambulatory cattle
in the human food supply reduces potential exposure by three percent;
prohibition of advanced meat recovery on animals more than 30 months
old reduces exposure by about 40 percent; and removing specified
risk materials from animals more than 30 months of age nearly eliminates
potential human exposure.
The updated risk assessment model and report, along with public
comments, are available on FSIS' Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/
FSIS to Issue Notice on Technical Service Center Operations
On July 31, FSIS will publish a Federal Register notice
to seek comments as part of its efforts to improve its Technical
Service Center (TSC) operations. FSIS is particularly interested
in improving TSC programs that assist small businesses.
The agency is reviewing the organization, operations and services
provided by its TSC in Omaha, NE, with the intent of improving TSC
programs that provide technical advice, guidance and information
to FSIS personnel, the regulated industry and the general public.
FSIS will be accepting comments through the Federal eRulemaking
Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or by electronic mail at
The notice will be available on FSIS' Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/
FSIS to Host 2006 Food Safety Education Conference
FSIS will hold a food safety education conference in Denver, Colo.,
on September 27-29, to focus on educating general and at-risk populations
such as pregnant women, children, older adults, immune-compromised
patients and culturally diverse populations.
The conference will be held at the Adam's Mark Hotel, 1550 Court
Place, Denver, CO. Pre-conference workshops will be held on September
The first day of the conference will feature a workshop titled,
"The Physicians Confront Foodborne Illness: Who's Most at Risk and
Why." Physicians who treat at-risk patients will discuss the physiological
and pathophysiological factors that result in certain populations
being more at-risk for a more severe illness or death related to
a foodborne illness.
Physicians will also discuss the significance of appropriate diagnosing,
as well as the challenges or barriers to obtaining a lab-confirmed
diagnosis and reporting foodborne illness.
The conference is sponsored by: FSIS; NSF International; the Food
and Drug Administration; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Service; and NSF/World
Health Organization Collaborating Center for Food Safety.
The conference will be organized around five primary themes:
- Foodborne Illness Surveillance and Epidemiological Insights;
- Food Safety Behavioral and Attitudinal Research;
- Social Marketing, Educational Interventions and Program Research;
- Role of Food Service and Food Industries; and
- New Technologies.
To register or view the program and a list of presenters, visit
FSIS' Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov/denver2006.
Office of Food Safety and Agricultural Marketing Service
to Hold Public Meeting on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
FSIS published a Federal Register notice on July 25, to
announce that USDA's Office of Food Safety and the Agricultural
Marketing Service will hold a public meeting to provide draft U.S.
positions and receive public comments on agenda items that will
be discussed at the 13th Session of the Codex Committee on Fresh
Fruits and Vegetables of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which
will be held from September 25-29, in Mexico City, Mexico.
The public meeting will be held on August 3, from 10 a.m. to noon,
in Room 3074, USDA South Agriculture Building, 1400 Independence
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250.
The agency is accepting comments through the Federal eRulemaking
Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or by electronic mail
The notice is available on FSIS' Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Frame/FrameRedirect.asp?main=
Export Tip of the Week
Changes to country requirements in the Export Library are marked
with a red asterisk.
For shorter country requirements, a "note" is included as a header
indicating that the red asterisk indicates the most recent revision
to the requirements.
For lengthier country requirements, the same "note" is included
as a header, as well as instructions for searching for specific
text within the requirements.
Instructions for searching for specific text within a requirement
may vary slightly, depending on the browser.
Microsoft Internet Explorer users can facilitate searches within
the requirements by clicking on the browser's "Edit" menu located
at the top of the browser.
Click on the "Find (on this page)" option. Enter an asterisk in
the "Find What" field, then click "Find Next."
This will highlight the first asterisk located in the requirement.
Keep clicking on the "Find Next" button until you reach the end
of the requirement and all asterisks have been identified.
Netscape users can facilitate searches within the requirements
by clicking on the browser's "Search" menu located at the top of
Click on the "Find in this page" option. Enter an asterisk in the
"Find text" field, then click "Find."
This will highlight the first asterisk located in the requirement.
Keep clicking on the "Find" button until you reach the end of the
requirement and all asterisks have been identified.
Visit FSIS' Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/
Export_Information/index.asp 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:
- European Union
- New Zealand
Complete information can be found at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/
FSIS Provides Questions and Answers Regarding Certification
of Intestines or Animal Casings for Export
FSIS issued Notice 45-06 on July 26, titled, Questions and Answers
for FSIS Notice 34-06, Certification of Intestines or Animal Casings
This notice announces the availability of questions and answers
regarding Notice 34-06.
FSIS Notice 34-06 informs inspection personnel that, for intestines
from an amenable species to be processed into casings that can be
certified for export as edible product by FSIS personnel, they must
bear the mark of inspection. FSIS will not certify for export intestines
that do not bear the mark of inspection.
Notice 45-06 is available on FSIS' Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/
FSIS Issues Notice on Sampling Supplies and Using New FedEx
FSIS issued Notice 44-06 on July 25, titled, Requesting Sampling
Supplies and Using the New FedEx Billable Stamp.
This notice instructs inspection program personnel, import inspection
personnel and investigators from the Office of Program Evaluation,
Enforcement and Review's Compliance and Investigations Division
on how to obtain sampling supplies for Escherichia coli
O157:H7 (E. coli) and ready-to-eat microbiological testing.
The notice also instructs the employees on how to use the new Federal
Express expanded billable stamp when submitting samples.
Notice 44-06, which is effective on August 1, is available on FSIS'
Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/
rdad/FSISNotices/44-06.pdf (PDF Only).
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).
Recorded messages are available 24 hours a day.
Ask Karen - FSIS' virtual representative can answer
your questions 24 hours day, seven days a week. Visit "Ask Karen"
Cooking For Groups Brochure - Helps hosts of large
dinner gatherings and parties prepare and serve food safely for
large groups. Available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/