|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
FSIS will hold a series of teaching workshops from January through March 2004. The workshops are designed to provide an overview of the Agency’s new regulatory requirements to owners and operators of small and very small establishments that process cattle or produce products using Advanced Meat Recovery (AMR) and for State plants and State program personnel. Listed below are the dates and cities where the all-day workshops will be held. Specific venue information will be forthcoming.
|January 31||Tacoma, Washington|
|February 7||Boise, Idaho|
|February 21||Sioux Falls, South Dakota|
|February 28||Madison, Wisconsin|
|March 6||Binghamton, New York|
Participants are encouraged to pre-register for the meetings and can do so by either calling (800) 384-3100 or by clicking on one of the links below for the meeting in their area.
Tacoma, Washington: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/forms/reg_tacoma.asp
Boise, Idaho: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/forms/reg_boise.asp
Sioux Falls, South Dakota: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/forms/reg_siouxfalls.asp
Madison, Wisconsin: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/forms/reg_madison.asp
Binghamton, New York: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/forms/reg_binghamton.asp
On January 9, FSIS issued a notice (FSIS 4-04) to inspectors at establishments that slaughter cattle and establishments that process bone-in parts of cattle carcasses. This notice instructs FSIS personnel to inform plant management through an awareness meeting about the Agency’s new regulations and policies to address BSE that became effective January 12, 2004. In addition, FSIS inspectors are to inform plant managers that if an establishment slaughters non-ambulatory disabled cattle or fails to ensure the removal, segregation, and disposition of Specified Risk Materials (SRMs), inspection program personnel will take a regulatory control action as set out in 9 CFR 500.2(a)(3). The notice is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oppde/rdad/FSISNotices/4-04.htm.
On January 14, FSIS issued another notice as a supplement to FSIS 4-04 to provide questions and answers regarding the Agency’s BSE regulations. These questions and answers are available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISNotices/7-04.htm.
On January 12, FSIS released a notice providing Veterinary Medical Officers (VMOs) guidance for implementing new regulatory requirements regarding non-ambulatory disabled cattle and procedures for determining by dentition whether cattle are 30 months of age and older.
This FSIS notice provides VMOs guidance in implementing the policy contained in docket #03-025IF (Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disable Cattle) as well as distinguishing cattle 30 months of age and older from younger cattle. Complete information regarding the notice can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISNotices/5-04.htm.
To further aid Veterinary Medical Officers (VMOs), FSIS has posted on its Web site a guide to using dentition in determining the age of disabled cattle. When the age of an animal is not known, examination of the teeth serves as the best and most practical method of age determination. This document demonstrates types of teeth and their location in bovine jaws, eruption times, and how to use that information to age cattle properly. To see the entire guide, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ofo/tsc/bse_information.htm.
FSIS has posted on its Web site two helpful documents containing frequently asked questions (FAQ) on BSE, as well as FSIS’ recent policies to further protect the food supply against the disease. The updated FAQ’s provide a helpful starting point in a search for current and accurate information regarding BSE and the four new policies published recently by FSIS. For general questions regarding BSE, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/FAQ/bse_general.htm. For answers to questions specifically regarding the implementation of FSIS’ new policies, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/FAQ/bse_regs.htm.
On January 9, FSIS announced that establishments that have delinquent accounts with the Agency will now be required to pay their balances before being provided with additional reimbursable overtime and holiday product inspections. The new policy on debt collections will not affect the provision of regular meat, poultry, and egg product inspections for delinquent establishments and individuals. Only reimbursable overtime and holiday inspections will be refused to establishments with delinquent accounts.
If the debt remains unresolved for 180 days, despite FSIS’ notification attempts, the account may be transferred to the U.S. Department of Treasury, which may pursue additional options to collect the amount due.
For further information on the new policy on delinquent payments for reimbursable services, contact Michael Zimmerer, Director, Financial Management Division, Office of Management, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Mail Drop 5262, Beltsville, MD 20705, (301) 504-5885.
On January 9, FSIS announced it is reopening the comment period on a proposed rule to update poultry standards of identity used to ensure truth in labeling. The comment period for the proposed rule closed on November 28, 2003. However, additional comments will be accepted for 30 days from the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register. The proposed rule is available in the Federal Register and on FSIS’ Web site at: www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/99-017P.htm.
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Macao, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Republic of Korea, Russia, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Taiwan, Trinidad, Turkey, and Vietnam. The Library has also been updated to reflect changes on eligible plant lists for Latvia and Switzerland. Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OFO/export/explib.htm.
A number of public meetings have been scheduled to occur prior to Codex Committee sessions this year. The Delegates to the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR), the Codex Committee on Meat Hygiene (CCMH), the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCFAC), the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS), the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH), and the Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products (CCMMP) have all posted public meetings. Dates, times, and locations for theses meetings are available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/codex/meeting.htm.
According to a new interim policy, FSIS has concluded that there are certain statements about carbohydrates that may be applied to the labeling of meat and poultry products to which FSIS has no objection and that do not conflict with Agency regulations. Consistent with the regulations about generic label approval, all labels bearing special statements must be sent to FSIS’ Labeling and Consumer Protection Staff for evaluation and approval before use. For more information regarding the interim policy, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/larc/Policies/CarbLabel.htm.
The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will hold a public meeting of the full committee on Friday, February 13, 2004, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Buckhead Hotel Atlanta, 3405 Lenox Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326. In addition to the plenary session, NACMCF Subcommittees also will hold meetings that are open to the public on February 10-12, 2004, at the Sheraton Buckhead Hotel Atlanta. For additional meeting information, contact Karen Thomas, Advisory Committee Specialist, at (202) 690-6620. Access the agenda at www.fsis.usda.gov/ophs/nacmcf/meetings.htm.
*This section has been added to
remind readers of information available on the
FSIS web site.
Web links will vary from week-to-week.
*Editor's Note: Attachments are sent with faxed versions of this report only. Links will be provided to electronic copy, when available.
For Further Information Contact:
FSIS Constituent Affairs Program
Phone: (202) 720-9113
Fax: (202) 720-5704