Constituent Update - February 28, 2014
2013 Food Defense Plan Survey
FSIS encourages all FSIS-regulated establishments to develop a functional food defense plan, although having a plan is not a regulatory requirement. Once implemented, a food defense plan helps the establishment to focus on prevention, response and recovery actions to protect the business, its employees and its customers.
FSIS completed the Eighth Annual Food Defense Plan Survey in September 2013. As in 2012, the survey covered meat and poultry slaughter and processing establishments, processed egg products plants and official import inspection establishments.
The 2013 survey found that 83 percent of all establishments have a functional food defense plan, exceeding FSIS’ Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 goal of 81 percent. As in previous years, larger establishments have a higher rate of implementing food defense plans: 98 percent of large establishments and 91 percent of small establishments have a functional food defense plan, while 75 percent of very small establishments have a functional plan. To reach the Agency goal of 90 percent adoption of functional food defense plans by 2015, FSIS will continue outreach activities in FY 2014, with efforts focused on very small establishments.
For guidance and documents related to food defense, go to: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-defense-and-emergency-response . For questions and additional assistance, contact the Small Plant Help Desk at (877) FSIS-HELP (877-374-7435). Any policy-related questions can also be addressed through the Policy Development Division at http://askfsis.custhelp.com or (800) 233-3935.
Update: FSIS Testing on Beta-Agonists
The FSIS Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook method, “Screening and Confirmation of Beta-Agonists by HPLC/MS/MS,” has been updated. The method now uses analytical column technology that is readily available, and the method is applicable to bovine and porcine muscle.
The method will be available for review on the FSIS website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/science/laboratories-and-procedures/guidebooks-and-methods/chemistry-laboratory-guidebook/ by March 7, 2014.
The agency intends to begin using this method after April 7, 2014.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- Republic of China
- United Arab Emirates
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
Webinar 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 organization's business. The exercise is designed to be completed within an hour’s time.
FSIS is hosting a webinar for industry to explain the purpose of the tool and to demonstrate how to use it 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.
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.
FSIS’ Public Meetings and Events
View upcoming meetings and associated meeting materials listed by date on FSIS’ Public Meeting and Events website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings. (Meetings that have concluded are listed on the Past Meetings page.) For meetings between agency officials and outside groups, see the Officials' Calendar of Meetings. The following meetings/events are upcoming:
National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods: Subcommittees
- March 25-27, 2014: Study of Microbiological Criteria as Indicators of Process Control or Insanitary Conditions
- March 18-20, 2014: Control Strategies for Reducing Foodborne Norovirus Infections
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.