|FSIS Issues Notice on Humane Handling Requirements
On September 9, FSIS published a notice encouraging establishments to use a systematic approach to ensure that
they are meeting the requirements of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) during handling and slaughter.
FSIS recommends establishments identify where and under what circumstances livestock might experience excitement,
discomfort or accidental injury while being handled in connection with the slaughter process. Also, establishments
are encouraged to design facilities and implement practices that will minimize discomfort and injury in accordance
with existing regulations. Plants should periodically evaluate their system for effectiveness and improve or adjust
operations accordingly. FSIS believes implementing these steps will serve to improve product quality and efficiency
as well as enhance worker safety.
In previous years, FSIS has taken substantial and comprehensive action to ensure the humane treatment and slaughter
of animals in establishments. In 2001, FSIS was able to hire district veterinary medical specialists to serve as
the primary contact for humane handling and slaughter issues in each district. In 2003, FSIS issued a directive to
provide FSIS inspection personnel additional information on humane handling verification procedures and to clarify
enforcement actions to be taken for violations.
In February 2004, FSIS implemented the electronic Humane Activities Tracking program (HAT) to document inspection
activities that ensure livestock are humanely handled in federally inspected facilities. HAT provides FSIS with more
accurate and readily available information on the activities and time spent by inspection personnel to ensure humane
handling and slaughter requirements are met.
The HMSA requires that humane methods for handling and slaughtering be used for all meat inspected by FSIS. This
statute seeks to prevent needless suffering and results in safer and better working conditions. FSIS assigns inspectors
to slaughter plants to ensure compliance with HMSA requirements for humane slaughter and handling methods.
For further information contact Lynn Dickey, Ph.D., Director, Regulations and Petitions Policy Staff, Office of
Policy, Program and Employee Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Cotton Annex Building, 300 12th Street,
S.W., Room 112, Washington D.C., 20250-3700, phone (202) 720-5627.
National Food Safety Education Month®
September is National Food Safety Education Month®. In 1994, the National Restaurant Association Educational
Foundation's (NRAEF) International Food Safety Council created National Food Safety Education Month® as an annual
campaign to heighten the awareness about the importance of food safety education. Each year a new theme and training
activities are created for the restaurant and food service industry to reinforce proper food safety practices and
procedures. This year's theme is "Be aware as you prepare." Materials to support this year's theme, and materials
from past years are accessible on the NRAEF Web site at www.NRAEF.org/nfsem. In addition, promotional materials are
available to help make it easier to spread the word about the importance of food safety education and training during
the month of September.
September is the opportunity to reinforce proper food safety training and inform everyone that food safety is not an
option, but an obligation. Consumers need to know simple steps they can take to prevent foodborne illness. One way is
to advise consumers of the four basic messages, Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. For more information on food safety
FSIS Proposes Equalizing Requirements for Supervisory Visits
FSIS has issued a proposed rule harmonizing the requirements for supervisory visits at certified foreign
establishments with those of domestic plants.
The proposed rule amends FSIS regulations to require foreign inspection agencies to conduct supervisory visits at
intervals sufficient to verify that the establishment remains eligible for certification to export to the United States.
The new language reestablishes the frequency requirement as "periodic supervisory visits."
Comments must be received on or before October 18. Written comments may be submitted to the FSIS Docket Room,
Reference Docket #03-033P, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 102 Cotton
Annex, 300 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-3700. Any comments received will be available for public inspection
in the FSIS Docket Room from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and will be posted at
Codex Public Meeting on Ad hoc Task Force on Fruit and Vegetable Juices
The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA, and the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Health and Human Services, are sponsoring a public meeting to provide
information and receive public comments on agenda items that will be discussed at the Fourth Session of the Codex Ad hoc
Intergovernmental Task Force on Fruit and Vegetable Juices, which will be held in Fortaleza, Brazil, October 11-15, 2004.
The public meeting will be held on September 15, 2004, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 1B-042 of the FDA Harvey Wiley Building,
5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, Md.
Items to be discussed at the public meeting include: Draft Code General Standards for Fruit Juices and Nectars; and draft
Minimum Brix Level for Reconstituted Juice and Reconstituted Puree and Minimum Juice and/or Puree Content for Fruit Nectars.
To submit comments or to receive copies of documents on the agenda, contact the FSIS Docket Room, Docket #04-029N, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 102, Cotton Annex, 300 12th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-3700.
The documents and complete agenda are also available electronically at http://www.codexalimentarius.net.
Persons requiring a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations should notify Ellen Matten at (202) 205-7760 or
by fax (202) 720-3157.
Library of Export Requirement Updated
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for Azerbaijan, Grenada, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Jordan, Mexico, Philippines and Ukraine.
Complete information can be found at: www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/Export_Information
Featured Office of the Week: Congressional & Public Affairs
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including Congress, the media, and constituent groups. Information products include news releases and recall releases,
fact sheets, the FSIS Constituent Update, reports to Congress, and speeches. For more information visit:
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