| NACMPI Provides Recommendations
The National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) hosted a 2-day public meeting in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 16 and 17.
The NACMPI reviewed and discussed two issues:
The meeting materials are available at www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/NACMPI_Meetings/index.asp, and a link to the transcript will be posted when it becomes available.
The committee's recommendations on each issue have been posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/
Spanish-Language Virtual Expert Answers Food Safety Questions on Your Smartphone
FSIS' Spanish-language food safety app is available to consumers around the clock on their mobile devices. Mobile Pregúntele a Karen is the Spanish-language version of Mobile Ask Karen, the virtual expert who answers smartphone users' questions about properly handling, storing and preparing food to prevent illness. The English version of Mobile Ask Karen was launched in May 2011.
Both Mobile Pregúntele a Karen, which is optimized for iOS and Android devices, and the desktop-based Pregúntele a Karen are available 24 hours a day at m.PregunteleaKaren.gov or www.PregunteleaKaren.gov.
Consumers can also e-mail, chat with a live representative, or call USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline directly from the app. To use these features on the app, simply choose "Contact Us" from the menu. The live chat option and the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), are available in Spanish and English from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.
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/
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 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.
Visit USDA's Blog
Every day, the USDA Blog shares something new about USDA's expansive mission. The blog provides a rich and diverse look at the work within the department, spanning the nation—and even the world—and highlights the breadth of USDA programs and the role they play in the lives of every American.
Go to http://blogs.usda.gov and see what's happening within the agency and across the department.
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.
Register for USDA's 2013 Agricultural Outlook Forum
Last week, USDA announced speakers for the 2013 Agricultural Outlook Forum, "Managing Risk in the 21st Century." The forum will be held Feb. 21-22 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will present the keynote address, followed by the guest speaker, former Senator Thomas A. Daschle, currently a senior policy advisor with DLA Piper. In addition, USDA Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will present the 2013 U.S. Economic Outlook for Agriculture.
This year's food safety panel, "The Food Safety Revolution: How Far Have We Come? What's Next?," will be moderated by Elizabeth Weise of USA Today. Panel members include: Craig Wilson, VP for Quality Assurance and Food Safety at Costco; Nancy Donley, STOP Foodborne Illness; and Dr. Rodney Moxley of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
This year also marks 20 years after a major E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that led to that strain being declared an adulterant, and 15 years of HACCP. How has food safety evolved? What has been the impact of a HACCP-based system, and of the battle against O157:H7—on FSIS, on establishments, and ultimately, on consumers? What new strategies have recently been deployed, and what is the next advancement for food safety? The answers to these questions and more will be discussed.
USDA has hosted the Agricultural Outlook Forum since 1923 to provide farmers, ranchers, government and agribusinesses with sound information for decision-making. Attendees are expected to include members of farm organizations, food and fiber firms, academia, foreign governments and the news media.
Individual speakers' topics and biographies are available at www.usda.gov/oce/forum. Plenary speeches after 6 p.m. ET on Feb. 21 will be broadcasted live on the Web, and breakout session speeches and presentations will be posted online after 6 p.m. on Feb. 22.
For the program schedule and registration, go to www.usda.gov/oce/forum.
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: