Constituent Update - July 19, 2013
Upcoming Publication on Dioxins
The Journal of Food Protection will publish an FSIS-authored paper on dioxins. This paper is an analysis of the September 2007-September 2008 dioxins survey conducted by FSIS, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Kerry Dearfield and his colleagues in the FSIS Office of Public Health Science compared this data to the reference dose (RfD) established by the EPA and converted these findings to exposure across all populations using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the recommended Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. This paper will be published on August 1 and will be available online on August 5.
The Small Plant Help Desk: We Are Here For You!
If you are a small or very small plant, there is a valuable resource available right at your fingertips! The Small Plant Help Desk is a tool you can use as a small or very small business owner or operator to help answer questions such as: How do I apply for a grant of inspection? Who do I contact if I want to start a mobile slaughter unit? Where can I locate the How to Develop a Meat and Poultry Recall Plan online? All of these questions can be easily answered by contacting the staff at the Small Plant Help Desk.
The staff on the Help Desk have in-plant experience and expertise assisting with the grant of inspection and walking you step-by-step through the process. Staff can also assist you in finding valuable resources regarding your in-plant operations and can point you in the right direction for more specific inquiries.
The Help Desk is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. We have staff ready to answer your calls, so you can expect someone to answer. If you do call and we are unavailable, it’s because we are either on the call with other customers or temporarily out of the office. Please be sure to leave a message or contact us by e-mail because we will get back to you! To reach the Small Plant Help Desk, call 1(877) 374-7435, or e-mail Infosource@fsis.usda.gov. For all policy questions, contact AskFSIS. We look forward to hearing from you!
Updated Validated Test Kit Tables Now Available
FSIS is announcing the availability of updated tables of validated test kits to regulated establishments. These test for the presence of relevant pathogens or indicator organisms of interest (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC); Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria species; and Salmonella and Campylobacter species) in meat, poultry and processed egg products. These tables are intended to be informational and are not an endorsement or approval of any particular method by the agency. The tables are available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/909c8279-6865-424d-ab7a-e1f165646c63/Validated-Test-Kit-Spreadsheet.xls?MOD=AJPERES. FSIS intends to update these tables on a quarterly basis.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following areas:
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 18-21 at the Fauquier County Fair in Virginia or July 22-27 at the Washington County Fair in Maryland. 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:
PHIS Directive 13000.3, Responding in PHIS to Industry Appeal of a Noncompliance Record (NR)
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.
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.
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.