| FSIS Contractor to Collect Enhanced Plant Profile Information for Public Health Information System
In an ongoing effort to support a science-based, data-driven food safety inspection system, FSIS is developing the Public Health Information System (PHIS). PHIS will be a user-friendly, Web-based application that will replace many of the Agency's current systems and automate many business processes.
One component of PHIS is predictive analytics. This function will support a data-driven approach to inspection, auditing and sampling by monitoring data from FSIS domestic and international inspection activities in real time to provide alerts and tailor future inspection activities to previous inspection findings and establishment characteristics.
As part of the data-driven approach the predictive analytics function of PHIS will utilize enhanced establishment profile data which will include a significant amount of detail about each establishment's food safety systems, operations and demographics.
In order to collect this data and maximize the time for inspection personnel to focus on more immediate in-plant verification activities, FSIS has contracted Dynamac Corporation. Dynamac employees will be working with each Inspector-in-Charge (IIC) to collect additional plant profile information needed for PHIS.
This pilot is scheduled to begin early in January 2009 with approximately 50 establishments through the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Dynamac will be contacting IICs to schedule meetings to begin recording the data. IICs and establishments involved in the test will receive letters providing more detailed instructions.
Following the pilot, the effort will continue in two phases starting in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania during 2009, and then expand out to the rest of the country in 2010. FSIS chose Pittsburgh for the test because it represents a good cross-section of establishment types and sizes within easy commuting distance.
Before Dynamac employees begin to collect information, they will have successfully completed an FSIS identity proofing and registration process. They will also need to comply with identity proofing requirements established by Congress and managed by the Office of Personnel Management. In addition to obtaining the necessary clearances, Dynamac employees will be required to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure statement.
Additional information will be provided in upcoming FSIS publications as well as Agency podcasts. For more information, contact Murray Penner, Labeling and Program Delivery Division, Office of Policy and Program Development at (202) 205-0623 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA Hosts Codex Public Meeting on Fats and Oils
USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration announced a public meeting to discuss information and receive public comments on agenda items to draft U.S. positions that will be discussed at the 21st Session of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils (CCFO) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, to be held in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
The public meeting will be held on Monday, January 26, 2009 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the back conference area of the South Agricultural Building's cafeteria located at 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C.
Documents and agenda items related to the 21st Session of the CCFO will be accessible at the Codex Web site at www.codexalimentarius.net/current.asp.
For further information about the public meeting, contact Syed Ali at (202) 205-7760 or Syed.Ali@fsis.usda.gov.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following:
FSIS Updates E. coli O157:H7 Reports
FSIS has updated Escherichia coli ( E. coli) O157:H7 testing data to include information through December 16, 2008.
Beginning in January 2009, testing results for E. coli O157:H7 will be posted on the Agency's Web site instead of FSIS' Constituent Update. Visit www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/
ground_beef_e.Coli_Testing_results/index.asp to review weekly updates on FSIS testing on E. coli O157:H7.