| FSIS Begins Industry Implementation of PHIS
FSIS is implementing the industry functionality of the Public Health Information System (PHIS) to FSIS-inspected domestic establishments and official import inspection establishments. This part of the system will give industry the ability to respond and view noncompliance records and file appeals.* It will also give industry the ability to view, export to a PDF, and print reports of sampling results, noncompliance records (NR), and the establishment profile.
Participation in PHIS is voluntary. Implementation for industry will be conducted in phases through a web registration process. Establishments will receive a letter with the implementation schedule, as well as instructions on the web registration process. This information will also be made available at www.fsis.usda.gov/PHIS/index.asp.
A start date has been designated for establishments associated with each FSIS district and regional import field office (full schedule available below). Establishments will not be able to access the system before the scheduled start dates.
PHIS users with questions or issues may contact the FSIS Service Desk at 1-800-473-9135. As a reminder, if an establishment elects to use PHIS, a Level 2 USDA eAuthentication (eAuth) account must be obtained to enroll and access the system. Steps for obtaining an eAuth account have been published in the FSIS Constituent Update and are available on the FSIS website.
*NOTE: Establishments in Alameda will have the capability to file appeals in PHIS beginning March 1.
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.
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/
Codex Public Meeting
FSIS and the FDA are hosting a public meeting to receive comments and draft U.S. positions that are scheduled to be discussed at the 41st Session of the Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) in Charlottetown, Canada. The public meeting is scheduled for April 17, from 1-3 p.m. at USDA's Jamie L. Whitten Bldg., 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Rm. 107-A, Washington, DC 20250.
Agenda items include: implementation of the World Health Organization Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health; proposed draft revision of the guidelines on nutrition and health claims concerning non-addition of sodium salts; and guidelines for the production, processing, labeling and marketing of organically produced foods.
Documents and agenda items related to the 41st session of the CCFL will be available at www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en. For more information about the public meeting, contact Doreen Chen-Moulec at (202) 205-7760 or USCodex@fsis.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 http://askfsis.custhelp.com/ to view recently posted topics.
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.
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: