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FSIS Provides Overview for Nutrition Labeling and Posts Q&As on askFSIS
The agency recently announced the publication of the final rule on Nutrition Labeling of Single-Ingredient Products and Ground or Chopped Meat and Poultry Products, ( www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-12-29/pdf/2010-32485.pdf).

The final rule requires nutrition information for the major cuts of single-ingredient, raw meat and poultry products on the label or at point-of-purchase, unless an exemption applies. The rule also requires nutrition information for all ground or chopped products on the label of the products, unless an exemption applies. In addition, it permits the labels of these products to include a lean percentage statement as long as a fat percentage statement also is displayed on the label.

FSIS has posted a presentation on its website that gives an overview of the nutrition labeling final rule and its requirements. Go to www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/
2010_Interim_&_Final_Rules_Index/index.asp
to review the presentation.

FSIS also has posted answers to questions received on askFSIS for the nutrition labeling final rule. To review these answers, go to www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Nutrition_labeling_Q&A_0211.pdf (PDF Only). Related discussions include point-of-purchase materials and the use of lean/fat ratios in the labeling of ground products.

The agency expects to provide monthly updates in anticipation of implementation of the final rule.

Register for the 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum
USDA is hosting the 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum Today's Strategies and Tomorrow's Opportunities from Feb. 24-25 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

The forum features 25 breakout sessions spotlighting a range of issues related to risk management, renewable energy, sustainability, conservation and the environment, as well as nutrition and USDA Dietary Guidelines.

Under Secretary Dr. Elisabeth Hagen will introduce and moderate a food safety panel discussion on Feb. 25. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/oce/forum or e-mail agforum@oce.usda.gov.

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 askfsis.custhelp.com/ to find the answers to your questions. Recently posted topics include:

Check Out the PHIS Resource Page
Information about the dynamic, user-friendly data analytics system, called the Public Health Information System, is available on the FSIS website at
www.fsis.usda.gov/PHIS.

FSIS is developing PHIS as an effort to collect, consolidate and analyze data. This public health based approach is in line with the core principles of the President's Food Safety Working Group.

FSIS also developed a video, available on YouTube, PHIS 101: The Basics. It provides a comprehensive overview of the system and the advantages it will deliver. Check it out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYPO3MHDHRs.

Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following countries:
  • Canada
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan

Complete information can be found at www.fsis.usda.gov/
Regulations_&_Policies/Export_Information/index.asp
.

Register for Codex Public Meeting to Seek Comments on Food Additives
The Office of Food Safety and the Food and Drug Administration are co-sponsoring a public meeting to receive public comments and draft U.S. positions that will be discussed at the 43rd Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA), to be held in Xiamen, China.

The public meeting will be held on Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the auditorium of the Harvey Wiley Bldg., 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD. Interested parties may submit written comments and register electronically at cfsan-ccfa@fda.hhs.gov.

Documents and agenda items related to the 43rd Session of the CCFA are available at www.codexalimentarius.net/current.asp. For more information about the public meeting, contact Dr. Jannavi Srinivasan at (301) 436-1199 or jannavi.srinivasan@fda.hhs.gov.

USDA Announces Codex Public Meeting on Pesticide Residues
The Office of Food Safety will sponsor a public meeting to receive public comments and draft U.S. positions that will be discussed at the 43rd Session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR), to be held in Beijing, China.

The public meeting is scheduled for Feb. 24, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Potomac Yard offices located at 2777 South Crystal Drive in Arlington, VA.

Documents and agenda items related to the 43rd Session of the CCPR are available on the Codex website at www.codexalimentarius.net/current.asp. For more information, contact Doreen Chen-Moulec at (202) 205-7760 or doreen.chen-moulec@fsis.usda.gov. Individuals are invited to submit comments at the meeting or electronically to uscodex@fsis.usda.gov.

FSIS Policy Update
FSIS issues notices and directives to protect public health. The following policy update was recently issued:
  • Notice 08-11, Inspection Responsibilities and Authorities for Slaughter or Evisceration Line Speed Process Control

All notices and directives are available at www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/index.asp.

New Salmonella Standards: A Weekly Industry Progress Update

Plant CategoryPercent Complete and Passed as of Feb 7, 2011Percent That Could Complete and Pass by Mar 31, 2011
Young Chickens86.789.7
Young Turkeys90.996.9

FSIS recently announced that it is tracking industry performance to see if 90 percent of poultry slaughter establishments would have met updated and tightened Salmonella standards for 2010 if they had been in effect. (See the Dec. 17, 2010, issue of the Constituent Update at www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/
Const_Update_121710/index.asp
.)

The table above shows progress as of this week projecting a final "best-case" possible total and represents no change from last week for both young chickens and young turkeys.