Constituent Update - February 14, 2014
Directory App Now Available for Apple Users
FSIS released its Apple version of the Meat, Poultry and Egg Product Inspection (MPI) Directory mobile app supporting iPhone and iPad devices on Feb. 12, 2014. The MPI Directory provides a listing of establishments that produce meat, poultry and/or egg products regulated by FSIS. This is the first release of a mobile application using Apple’s iOS infrastructure; the Android version is already available and was released in May 2013.
The USDA MPI Directory app allows customers to ‘look up’ or search establishments by location or zip code, type of inspection, establishment name or number and type of establishment. Customers can find the information on a mobile device, when it’s needed from any place, anywhere, at any time.
FSIS’ easy-to-use mobile Android app increased customer’s access to the MPI data and the Apple iOS version will extend that access to an additional audience. The Android version of the mobile application can be found at https://play.google.com/store/apps?hl=en. The mobile application can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/usda-mpi-directory/id791859888?ls=1&mt=8 or by searching “usda mpi directory” from the Apple iTunes Store.
The release of the Apple version will expand FSIS’ ability to reach a broader audience interested in important food safety data.
Webinars Scheduled: 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 Feb. 25, March 11, and March 25, 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.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following countries:
- European Union
- French Polynesia
- Saudi Arabia
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
Webinars Scheduled: Scenario-Based Exercise Tool
FSIS has developed a new tool for use by the FSIS-regulated industry known as the Food Defense and Recall Preparedness: A Scenario-Based Exercise Tool. This scenario-based tool highlights the importance of having a voluntary functional food-defense plan and written recall procedures. The tool identifies key components of a food-defense plan and recall procedures that are relevant to an organizations’ business. The exercise is designed to be completed within an hour’s time.
FSIS is will hosting webinars for industry to explain the purpose of the tool and to demonstrate how to use it on Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. ET and on March 14, 2014, at 11 a.m. ET.
The tool is available for free download at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-defense-defense-and-emergency-response. It is also located in FSIS’ Guidance Documents at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-defense-and-emergency-response/preparation-and-prevention/guidance-documents.
FSIS Policy Updates
On 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 09-14, Poultry Checklist in Establishments that Produce Raw Chicken and Turkey Products
Update: 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.
Between June 4, 2012 and Feb. 9, 2014, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 5,064 beef trim samples (4,391 domestic and 673 imported); 1,731 routine follow-up samples (1,617 domestic and 114 imported); and 38 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. Seventy-four samples were found to be positive; 36 were domestic trim samples; one was an imported trim sample; 34 were domestic follow-up samples; and three were non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. To date, two samples have been positive for both O157:H7 and non-O157 STEC and five samples have been positive for two different non-O157 O-groups.
To review testing results, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/ec/
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.