| FSIS Reaches Out to Spanish-Speaking Consumers with the Launch of New Online Tools
On Sept. 1, FSIS launched Pregúntele a Karen (Ask Karen) and the FSIS Spanish language Twitter feed, reaching out to Spanish-speaking consumers and educators about food safety. These new features are meant to further prevent foodborne illness and promote food safety to a broader audience of consumers.
"We are excited to be able to provide America's Spanish-speaking community additional tools to prevent foodborne illness," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza.
Pregúntele a Karen is a virtual food safety representative with information for consumers about preventing foodborne illness, safe food handling and storage, and the safe preparation of meat, poultry and processed egg products. Consumers can also chat live in Spanish and obtain food safety information. To access Pregúntele a Karen, go to http://pregunteleakaren.gov/.
The Spanish language Twitter feed keeps consumers and other interested communities informed of the latest agency news and events and provides useful food safety tips. Follow FSIS' Spanish Twitter account at http://www.twitter.com/usdafoodsafe_es.
In addition, consumers and educators can quickly access a variety of Spanish-translated information on FSIS' "EN ESPAÑOL" web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/En_Espanol/. FSIS' Spanish language fact sheets are organized by topic and subject, and they all feature a sharing tool that allows customers to bookmark and share content through various social destinations, such as Facebook and Twitter. The fact sheet web page can be accessed at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/en_espanol/ Hojas_Informativas/index.asp.
For further information about FSIS' "EN ESPAÑOL" web page, contact Technical Information Specialist Maribel Alonso, Food Safety Education Staff, at (301) 344-4762, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Export Requirement Updates
There are no updates reflected in this week's Export Library Requirements.
General information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/ Export_Information/index.asp.
USDA to Host Mobile Slaughter Unit Information Session in Nevada
As part of USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative, FSIS announced this week that it is hosting a red meat mobile slaughter unit information session on Sept. 9, at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Office in Carson City, Nev.
"This information session will educate small producers and processors on establishing mobile slaughter units and how to ensure the safety of products so they can receive the USDA federal mark of inspection," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza.
A mobile slaughter unit is a self-contained slaughter facility that can travel from site to site. Typically, the units provide slaughter services to regional small producers at conveniently located host farms. FSIS-inspected mobile slaughter units provide a feasible option for small livestock producers wanting to provide safe, wholesome meat products to local and interstate consumer markets. Livestock for these mobile units include cattle, hogs, goats and sheep.
FSIS officials will highlight how to apply for a federal grant of inspection and discuss inspection issues unique to mobile slaughter units. For more information about the session, visit FSIS' website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/ NR_083010_01/index.asp or call the Small Plant Help Desk at (877)-FSISHelp (1-877-374-7435).
Public Health Information System Webinars Postponed
The Public Health Information System webinars originally scheduled for September 9 and 16 have been postponed and will be rescheduled. A new date will be announced in the Constituent Update.
PHIS Resource Page Now Online
Information about the dynamic, user-friendly data analytics system, called the Public Health Information System, is now available on the FSIS website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PHIS. Read a backgrounder and check out the webinar schedule and register. Other important information is also available on this site.
FSIS is developing PHIS as part of 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. PHIS will significantly improve the way FSIS responds to foodborne hazards.
Comment on Codex Activities
The Office of Food Safety is inviting comments on standard-setting activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex). Codex activities announced in the June 4, 2010, Federal Register notice include: phytosanitary standard-setting activities, commodity standards, guidelines, codes of practice and revised texts.
For more information, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/ FRPubs/2009-0033.htm. Documents pertaining to Codex standard-setting activities are accessible at http://www.codexalimentarius.net/current.asp.
Comments may be submitted by May 31, 2011, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or to the Docket Clerk, USDA, FSIS, Mailstop 5272, George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705.
All items submitted by mail or e-mail must include the agency's name and docket number FSIS-2009-0033. Comments received in response to the docket will be made available for public review.
Inspection Seminars Designed for International Government Officials
FSIS will host the third meat and poultry inspection seminar for international officials in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 13 through Oct. 1.
The purpose of the seminar is to familiarize international government officials with U.S. inspection regulations and procedures used by USDA to ensure that the nation's meat, poultry and processed egg products are safe, wholesome and properly labeled.
This session, to be held at the River Inn Training Facility, is a 3-week in-depth seminar for senior international government officials. It will provide an overview of FSIS, including an introduction to HACCP, pathogen reduction, import and export policies and procedures, equivalence, animal production, field visits to import and export locations as well as processing and slaughter plants.
This seminar will be conducted in English, and participation will be limited to 35 individuals.
For more information and to register, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_&_events/ 2010_Meat_&_Poultry_Inspection_Seminars/index.asp.
National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection to Hold Public Meeting
The National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) will hold a public meeting on Sept. 29 and 30. The committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on matters affecting federal and state inspection program activities.
The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Thursday, Sept. 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The meetings will be held in the conference room at the south end of the USDA South Building cafeteria, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.
More information, including agenda items, will be made available in future issues of the FSIS Constituent Update. Be sure to check the Meetings and Events page on FSIS' website at www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/ Meetings_&_Events/index.asp for more updates. For further information about the public meeting, contact Josh Stull at (202) 720-9113 or e-mail email@example.com.
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 find the answers to your questions. Recently posted topics include: