| PHIS Update
FSIS is gearing up to launch the industry functionality of the Public Health Information System (PHIS) to establishments nationwide in 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 (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 (800) 457-3642. Keep reading the Constituent Update for more information about the launch of PHIS to industry.
FSIS To Hold Webinars on Poultry Sanitary Dressing Procedures
The agency will be conducting webinar trainings on Nov. 7 (state audiences) and Nov. 8 (industry audiences) that focus on verification of poultry sanitary dressing. The course will also cover process control procedures by off-line inspection program personnel in poultry slaughter operations using a systems approach. Both webinars will be held at 11 a.m. ET.
The training will discuss a "system" as it relates to sanitary dressing and process control, the role of sanitary dressing, and process control as part of an establishment's food safety system. In addition, there will be discussion as to how inspectors will verify poultry sanitary dressing and process control procedures as outlined in Directive 6410.3 www.fsis.usda.gov/oppde/rdad/FSISDirectives/6410.3.pdf.
Registration is not required for either webinar. To participate, go to www.connectmeeting.att.com (meeting number: 888-858-2144 and pass code: 3959167). Participants are asked to log in 10 minutes prior to the start of the webinar. For specific course questions, visit askFSIS at http://askfsis.custhelp.com/.
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/
Food Safety During Inclement Weather
As Hurricane Sandy approaches coastal states, FSIS is urging residents to plan ahead and minimize the potential for foodborne illness in the event of power outages, flooding and other problems that could be associated with weather emergencies.
"When it comes to emergencies of any kind, planning ahead is always the best strategy to help reduce the risk of foodborne illness," said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen.
Families should have an emergency plan in place that includes food and water safety precautions. The publication "A Consumer's Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes" is available at www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/
Severe_Storms_and_Hurricanes_Guide.pdf to print and keep as a reference during power outages. [ More Resources]
FSIS Policy Update
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 update was recently issued:
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at www.AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. "Ask Karen" live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.
The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is also available to consumers in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
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.
Follow Us on Twitter
Find food safety information for at-risk people along with tips and resources to keep consumers and other interested groups informed of the latest agency news and events. Follow FSIS on Twitter at www.twitter.com/USDAFoodSafety.
You can also receive alerts about recalls in your state and how to keep food safe during severe weather in your area by following FSIS' state Twitter feeds. A list of all FSIS state food safety alert Twitter feeds is available at www.fsis.usda.gov/Fsis_Recalls/
Also Tweet En Español
The FSIS 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 www.twitter.com/usdafoodsafe_es.