| National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) to Host Public Meeting
NACMPI will host a 2-day public meeting to review and discuss strengthening agency verification activities pertaining to veal and categorizing FSIS regulations as public health regulations. The meetings will be held on Jan. 16 and 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Registration will begin on site at 8:30 a.m. each day.
Next week's meetings will take place in the first floor auditorium of the Patriot Plaza III building, located at 355 E St., SW, Washington, DC 20024. The meeting agenda and additional details are accessible at www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/NACMPI. For meeting information, contact Sally Fernandez at (202) 690-6524 or email@example.com.
In addition, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week, the appointment of members for the 2012-2014 term. For a list of newly appointed members, go to www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/NACMPI_Members/index.asp.
Food Safety Lessons Learned from the Lebanon Bologna Outbreak
FSIS announced on Jan. 8 the availability of a revised compliance guide on the safe production of Lebanon bologna products with respect to E. coli O157:H7 and other pathogens.
Specifically, this document contains lessons learned from the 2011 illness investigation and articulates how industry can meet FSIS expectations regarding the production of Lebanon bologna. During the outbreak investigation, the agency identified that inadequate validation of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system design may have led to the production of adulterated product. To review the revised compliance guide, go to www.fsis.usda.gov/
This version of the guideline is considered final and replaces previous versions of the document. No comments were received during the open comment period for the previous version. However, FSIS made a change to the recommendations related to relative humidity as a result of an askFSIS question received. FSIS encourages establishments that manufacture Lebanon bologna, as well as those that manufacture other fermented, semi-dry products, to use this guidance document.
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 www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/
FSIS Posts Third Quarter Salmonella and Campylobacter Report
On Dec. 28, 2012, the agency posted to its website the third quarterly progress report of calendar year (CY) 2012 on Salmonella and Campylobacter testing of selected raw meat and poultry products.
This report provides preliminary data from July to September 2012 on all establishments eligible for Salmonella testing that have completed at least two sampling verification sets since June 2006.
As of September 2012, of all establishments in all product classes, 80.8 percent are in category 1, which illustrates a decrease from second quarter CY12.
From 167 broiler establishments, 3,403 samples were analyzed with a 4.2 percent positive rate, representing a slight decrease from the 4.3 percent positive rate for second quarter CY12. This table lists percentages of broiler establishments by category as of September 2012.
FSIS continues to post monthly the names of broiler establishments demonstrating variable or inconsistent process control. The agency highlights performance for the broiler class because of its negative impact on foodborne illness. Since April 2008, FSIS has been posting category 3 broiler carcass establishment names.
FSIS will continue to post monthly the names of poultry establishments demonstrating variable or inconsistent process control. The complete report and program details are at www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/
Note: This is also the fifth quarter to include Campylobacter sampling results for young chicken and turkey carcasses. A follow-up Constituent Update will be issued to discuss these results in greater detail as more data becomes available.
Get Answers at askFSIS
AskFSIS is a web-based technology and policy question-and-answer forum on topics such as exporting, labeling, inspection, programs and procedures. In addition, askFSIS offers Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that link back to the Q&As.
Visit http://askfsis.custhelp.com/ to view recently posted topics.
Updates on FSIS Testing for E. coli
FSIS posts bi-weekly updates for the agency's raw ground beef E. coli sampling program. Included are testing results of raw ground beef component samples for E. coli O157:H7 and STECs from FSIS routine and follow-up sampling programs. Also featured is data for non-O157 STECs by each non-O157 STEC serogroup.
To review testing results, go to www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/
Webinar Available on the Labeling Submission System
FSIS is offering webinars on the Labeling Submission and Approval System (LSAS)—a web-based application for accepting label submissions that launched last May.
The discussion will focus on the steps establishments can take to register and submit label applications. LSAS allows industry to electronically submit the required information to obtain label approval. It also makes it possible to flag application submission errors that could delay the approval process, and allows users to track the progress of their submission.
Webinars are scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Jan. 23, Feb. 20 and March 20. To access the webinar, go to https://connect16.uc.att.com/usda/meet/?ExEventID=85277207 and follow the on-screen instructions. For questions, contact Kristin Goodwin at (301) 504-0878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FSIS is gearing up to launch the industry functionality of the Public Health Information System (PHIS) to establishments nationwide. This will include the "plant management" role to review and print noncompliance records, respond to noncompliance records and appeal noncompliance records, view industry-specific reports and manage users associated with an establishment. The use of PHIS by industry is optional. For those who are interested in accessing PHIS, you must first establish a USDA eAuthentication (eAuth) Level 2 account. PHIS will not be accessible to anyone without an eAuth account. The steps on obtaining eAuth are:
If you need assistance or have questions about eAuth, contact the USDA eAuth service desk at eAuthHelpDesk@ftc.usda.gov or 1-800-457-3642.
Faces of Food Safety: Introducing Douglas Fulnechek
"Faces of Food Safety", is an agency initiative that shares the stories of its dedicated workforce.
Fulnechek, the newest Face of Food Safety, says as a Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer, he takes great pride in working to prevent foodborne illness and protect public health.
"Because I love my job so much as an Inspector-in-Charge/Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer at the Food Safety and Inspection Service, I really don't need an alarm clock to get me up in the morning," says Dr. Fulnechek. "And I've felt this way for 24 years now."
To read the full story, go to www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/faces_food_safety/index.asp.
FSIS Policy Updates
FSIS issues notices and directives to protect public health. All notices and directives are available at www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/index.asp. The following policy updates were recently issued: