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Constituent Update - October 25, 2013

FSIS Posts Second Quarter Salmonella, Campylobacter Report

Today, the agency posted to its website the second quarterly progress report of calendar year (CY) 2013 on Salmonella and Campylobacter testing of selected raw meat and poultry products. This report provides preliminary data from April to June 2013 on all establishments eligible for Salmonella testing that have completed at least two sampling verification sets since June 2006.

As of March 2013, of all establishments in all product classes (i.e., broiler, ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, turkey), 80.6 percent are in category 1, which illustrates an increase from first quarter CY 2013. From 174 broiler establishments, 2955 samples were analyzed with a 2.6 percent positive rate, representing a decrease from the 3.5 percent positive rate for first quarter CY 2013. Ongoing adjustments in category percentages are expected as establishments transition into the July 2011 tightened performance standards. Percent positive for overall sampling and Category 3 rates have not increased during this period. This table lists percentages of broiler establishments by category as of June 2013.

Plant
Category

Category
1

Category
2T

Category
2

Category
3

Percentage
of Broiler
Est.

70.1

9.7

13.7

6.3

 

FSIS continues to post monthly the names of broiler establishments demonstrating variable or inconsistent process control. The agency highlights performance for the broiler class because of its negative impact on foodborne illness. Since April 2008, FSIS has been posting category 3 broiler carcass establishment names. FSIS will continue to post monthly the names of poultry establishments demonstrating variable or inconsistent process control. The complete report and program details are at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/fsis-content/internet/main/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/quarterly-reports-salmonella/quarterly-progress-reports.

Note: This is also the ninth quarter to include Campylobacter sampling results for young chicken and turkey carcasses. A follow-up Constituent Update will be issued to discuss these results in greater detail as more data becomes available.

FSIS Policy Update

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 updates were recently issued:

  • Notice 68-13, Verifying Donation of Misbranded and Economically Adulterated Meat and Poultry Products
  • Notice 69-13, Containers for Use When Collecting Raw Beef Samples For Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia Coli (STEC) and Salmonella Testing

Export Requirements

The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following areas:

  • Cambodia
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Myanmar

Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products. 

2013 Residue Sampling Plans (Blue Book)

FSIS is publishing a quarterly report that summarizes the chemical residue results for the U.S. National Residue Program for meat, poultry and egg products (NRP). From the stakeholder perspective, FSIS’ quarterly publication of chemical residue testing results will increase both the program transparency and  frequency of access. The report is intended to supplement the annual U.S. NRP Residue Sample Results which is known as the Red Book, will continue to be published.

This is an opportunity to provide stakeholders and the public more timely information on chemical residues in FSIS-regulated meat, poultry and egg products. This information provides industry (i.e., pharmaceuticals, producers, and veterinarians working with producers) more timely information to effectively respond to chemical residue violations. This information also complements other agency residue information made public: Residue Repeat Violator List, NRP Sampling Plan (Blue Book) and the NRP Residue Sample Results.

The report can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/chemistry/blue-books/ct_index.

FSIS and FDA Study Aims to Enhance Food Safety in Retail Delis

To help minimize the public health burden of listeriosis, FSIS and FDA have produced a major study to better understand the risk of foodborne illness associated with eating certain foods prepared in retail delicatessens and what changes in current practices may improve the safety of those products. The study, a quantitative risk assessment, provides a scientific evaluation of the risk of foodborne illness associated with consumption of meats, cheeses and other ready-to-eat foods prepared in retail delis and examines interventions that limit the survival, growth or transmission of the disease-causing bacteria.

The study was presented at a joint FSIS-FDA public meeting at USDA’s Jefferson Auditorium in Washington, D.C., on May 22, 2013. A transcript and presentations from that meeting can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings/past-meetings#lmra.

The study was updated in response to public comments. A final report, interpretive summary, response to peer review comments, and responses to public comments along with additional scenario analyses are available at the following agency websites:

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.

FSIS Releases New Guidance to Standardize Humane Handling

On October 23, FSIS announced new guidance—FSIS Compliance Guide for a Systematic Approach to the Humane Handling of Livestock—to support the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. The new guidance provides a systematic approach that establishments can follow to minimize excitement, discomfort and accidental injury of animals presented for slaughter.

The new guidance was developed to address several humane handling incidents cited in the spring 2013 Office of Inspector General report. As of this year, half of all livestock slaughter establishments have adopted the systematic approach to humane handling, meeting the agency’s strategic objective three years early. The guidance will be particularly helpful for small and very small slaughter establishments to address humane handling issues. As more establishments adopt these practices, the treatment of animals will be more consistent across the nation.

Food Safety Discovery Zone!

The USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone is scheduling its 2014 tour. For information about upcoming events, dates and times, please visit  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/usda-food-safety-discovery-zone-mobile/event-schedule-by-date