Constituent Update - July 12, 2013
Update on Equine Slaughter Inspection
As announced in the June 28 Constituent Update, FSIS has issued grants of inspection for the slaughter and processing of equines to two companies. Valley Meat Company near Roswell, N.M., received a grant of inspection on June 28, 2013, and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa, received a grant on July 2, 2013. FSIS continues to review the application for a third establishment located in Gallatin, Missouri, and expects to issue a grant soon when all requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) have been met.
While two grants of inspection have been issued, neither business has begun slaughtering horses, and therefore FSIS inspection has not begun at either plant. This week, FSIS inspectors from the Dallas, Des Moines and Springdale Districts joined personnel from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in a training session on how to enforce requirements related to the transport of horses. When an establishment is able to make a business decision to begin slaughtering equines, FSIS will be fully prepared to provide inspection and enforce the regulatory requirements of the FMIA and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Based on communications with both establishments, FSIS anticipates that inspection would begin on July 22, 2013, at the earliest.
The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and four other groups filed a lawsuit against USDA on July 1, 2013, to enjoin FSIS from providing inspection services to horse slaughter facilities. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California but was moved to the United States District Court for New Mexico on July 10, 2013. FSIS is awaiting information about scheduling by the New Mexico District Court and continues to work with the Department of Justice to ensure that we are carrying out all of our responsibilities under federal law.
Information related to FSIS inspection of equine slaughter, including the June 28 Constituent Update, FSIS’ Directive to Inspection Program Personnel and more can be found at www.fsis.usda.gov/horses/horses.html.
FSIS is announcing that a replacement for the Laboratory Electronic Application for Results Notification (LEARN) has been developed. The new “LIMS Direct” application has been refined and tested and will be implemented on July 15, 2013. LIMS-Direct provides sample status and analysis result information of samples submitted to FSIS laboratories. Data are queried directly from the FSIS LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) and are updated every 15 minutes. The LEARN application will continue to be available with a planned retirement date no later than October 1, 2013.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following areas:
- China, People’s Republic
- French Polynesia (Tahiti)
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
Visit the Food Safety Discovery Zone
Visit the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone July 10-13 at the Baltimore County 4-H Fair in Maryland or July 18-19 at the Fauquier County Fair in Virginia. For times and more information on upcoming events go to www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/usda-food-safety-discovery-zone-mobile/event-schedule-by-date/.
FSIS Policy Updates
FSIS issues notices and directives to protect public health. All notices and directives are available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations. The following policy update was recently issued:
Notice 45-13, Employee Assistance Program
Notice 46-13, LIMS-Direct to Replace Learn for Sampling Data Reporting
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.
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.
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.