Constituent Update - January 17, 2014
Nationwide Survey on Carcass Baseline
FSIS will launch a 12-month Nationwide Beef and Veal Carcass Baseline Survey (B-VCBS) to sample establishments that slaughter and process beef and veal carcasses. During this survey, FSIS will collect samples from the carcasses of steers, heifers, cows, bulls, stag, dairy cows and veal, including heavy calves, bob veal and non-formula fed and formula fed veal. Samples will be collected at two locations in the slaughter process, immediately after hide removal (pre-evisceration) and at pre-chill (after all anti-microbial interventions). Overall, approximately 4,000 samples will be scheduled.
This study will provide FSIS the data on percent positives and quantitative levels of select foodborne bacterial pathogens Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) and levels of indicator bacteria, including total bacteria (aerobic plate count), generic E. coli, coliforms and Enterobacteriaceae. Data obtained from B-VCBS will be used for the estimation of the national prevalence of the select pathogens, assessment of slaughter dressing procedures and process control, development of performance standards and for other policy considerations.
The study design and sampling plan for B-VCBS have been posted at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/5057f4ef-f924-422c-bafe-771b1ead78e4/Beef-Veal-Carcass-Baseline-Study-Design.pdf?MOD=AJPERES. The Baseline Data can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/baseline/baseline.
The shakedown phase (training period) of this study runs from January 2014, and will last for approximately 90 days. During the shakedown phase of this study, FSIS will accept comments from all stakeholders on the study design and sampling plan via Regulations.gov. Based on stakeholder input, FSIS will consider adjustments to the final study design and sampling plan. During this phase, FSIS will prepare its personnel for the actual study, further refine the eligibility of the beef and veal carcass slaughter plants for inclusion in the study, and identify necessary modifications to the survey, analytical methods and study design before conducting the actual 12-month survey.
The FSIS Notice for the shakedown portion of the survey is at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/fb84ff2f-bc84-4890-af67-3826f65d52a9/83-13.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.
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 updates were recently issued:
- Notice 03-14, Documenting Sample Source When Collecting Samples for Shiga Toxin-Producing E. Coli (STEC) Verification Testing
- Directive 8091.1 Revision 1, Procedures for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Health Hazard Evaluation Board (HHEB)
- Directive 10,240.4 Revision 3, Verification Activities for the Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) Regulation and the Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Sampling Program
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 http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
Webinars Scheduled to Discuss Final Rule on New Generic Labeling
Effective Jan. 6, 2014, FSIS expanded the circumstances in which labels may be considered “generically approved.” This new rule will allow establishments to label a broader range of products without first submitting the label to the agency for approval. Companies will still need to submit labels bearing certain claims, such as organic, natural or animal-raising, as well as labels for temporary approval; products produced under religious exemption; and export-only that bear labeling deviations. FSIS will continue to verify that labels are accurate, not misleading and in compliance with all labeling features.
FSIS will host webinars on this subject on January 28 and Feb. 11, 2014, all at 2 p.m. ET. To access the webinar, go to https://connect16.uc.att.com/usda/meet/?ExEventID=85277207 and follow the on-screen instructions. Please be sure to log on as a participant. For registration questions, contact Kristin Goodwin at (301) 504-0878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FSIS Food Recalls and Alerts
Stay up to date on FSIS’ food recalls and alerts by visiting FSIS’ Current Recalls and Alerts Web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
You can also receive email notifications when public health alerts and recalls are issued. Register at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe
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.
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.