| FSIS to Add Optional Repeat Testing of Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing
Agency laboratories will add repeat molecular testing of individual Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC) colonies in order to minimize the number of presumptive positive colonies that move forward to confirmatory testing.
The testing will not result in additional days of STEC analysis. The FSIS Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG) method chapter, MLG 5B.03, and the associated method flow chart, MLG 5B Appendix 4.01, will include this repeated testing as an option and will be posted to the MLG with an implementation date no earlier than Nov. 5.
To review the guidebook, go to www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/
Agency Laboratories to Analyze Larger Test Portions for Listeria Monocytogenes
To align with international recommendations from the Codex Alimentarius Commission, ready-to-eat meat and poultry product sample portions analyzed by FSIS laboratories for Listeria monocytogenes will be increased for routine risk-based (RLm) and intensified verification testing (IVT) samples.
RLm sampling will increase from three single 25g samples to a 125g composite of five 25g samples. In addition, intensified verification testing (IVT) sampling will increase from three 25g samples to five 25g samples, analyzed individually. The FSIS Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook's (MLG) Listeria monocytogenes chapter (MLG 8.08) will include the addition of a 125g sample portion. The Listeria monocytogenes screen test chapter (MLG 8A.05) will also be revised to clarify the interpretation of results. The MLG method chapters (MLG 8.08 and MLG 8A.05) and the associated method flowchart (MLG 8 Appendix 1) will be posted to the MLG with an implementation date no earlier than Nov. 5. To review the guidebook, visit www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/
Go to Docket No. FSIS-2012-0032, to review the related Sept. 24 Federal Register notice, Testing of Product Samples for Listeria monocytogenes.
FSIS is gearing up to launch the industry functionality of the Public Health Information System (PHIS) to establishments nationwide in early December. 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 Level 2 account. PHIS will not be accessible to anyone without an E-auth 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 (800) 457-3642. Keep reading the Constituent Update for more information about the launch of PHIS to industry.
Export Requirement Updates
There are no updates reflected in this week's Export Library Requirements.
Complete information can be found at www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/
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. The following topics were recently updated:
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:
Food Safety Discovery Zone!
The Food Safety Discovery Zone staff and specialists from the Meat and Poultry Hotline will conduct safe food handling demonstrations and answer questions at the Taste of DC from Oct. 6 to 8 from noon to 7 p.m.
Visit the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone and watch for other announcements of upcoming events. For dates, times and more information, go to www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Safety_Education/
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/