Constituent Update - March 21, 2014
Information Available for Establishments Producing NRTE Comminuted Products
Information developed by FSIS is now available to establishments who produce Not-Ready-to-Eat (NRTE) comminuted chicken and turkey products to use as they reassess their Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans. The information originally appeared as an attachment to FSIS Notice 17-13, which was issued on Feb. 22, 2013.
The information describes data FSIS gathered following outbreaks associated with ground turkey products. FSIS analyzed practices of establishments that produced ground turkey products associated
with two Salmonella outbreaks and found problems with sanitation, intervention use and cooking instructions validation. FSIS developed this information because production of NRTE comminuted chicken
products involves similar processes that make them susceptible to the same hazards as NRTE comminuted turkey products.
The information is on the FSIS website as a document associated with Federal Register Notice HACCP Plan Reassessment for Not-Ready-to-Eat Comminuted Poultry Products and Related Agency Verification Procedures (77 FR 72686) and can be viewed at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/91c2976b-8eb4-4a7f-8390-9f7889f24709/NRTE-Comminuted-Turkey-Prod-Outbreaks.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
Webinar 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 a webinar on this subject on March 25, 2014, 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:
- None to Report
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
Egg Products Inspection Moving to PHIS
Beginning May 2014, FSIS will start to manage and document egg products inspection and sampling through the Public Health Information System (PHIS). This means, for the first time, egg inspection will be documented electronically. With this move to PHIS, all of the agency’s inspection activities will now be tracked in one system, providing for better sharing of comprehensive data among inspection personnel. This is just one more step in the agency’s efforts to use available technologies to modernize the agency. PHIS is and will continue to be a tool that supports FSIS’ efforts to fulfill the mission to keep food safe and protect the American public from foodborne illness.
This project does not include any changes to egg products regulations or egg products sampling programs. It also does not include any fundamental changes to egg products inspection or the development of shell egg inspection methods.
Egg products inspectors will be trained on the use of PHIS through a combination of webinars and classroom training. Once all inspectors are trained and using PHIS, FSIS will allow access to PHIS for egg products plant management. With this access, plant management will be able to review selected reports and review and respond to noncompliance records and memoranda of interview. A level 2 e-authentication account will be required to access PHIS. Letters to egg plant owners/operators detailing how to obtain access will be mailed in early April.
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 13-14, Collecting Supplier Information at the Time of Sample Collection for Escherichia Coli (E. coli) O157:H7 in Raw Ground Beef Products and Bench Trim
- Notice 14-14, Instructions for Conducting Verification Tasks on Missed Inspection Visits of Meat or Poultry Processing Establishments
- Directive 5500.2 Revision 6, Significant Incident Response
FSIS Food Recalls and Alerts
Stay up to date on FSIS’ food recalls alerts by visiting FSIS’ Current Recalls and Alerts Web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
You can also receive e-mail notifications when public health alerts and recalls are issued. Register at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe.
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.
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
Keep Food Safe During an Emergency
Did you know that a flood, fire, national disaster or the loss of power from high winds, snow or ice could jeopardize the safety of your food?
To learn how to keep food safe, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/emergency-preparedness/keeping-food-safe-during-an-emergency/ct_index.
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.
FSIS is the public health agency in the USDA responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry and egg processed egg products is safe, whole and correctly labeled and packaged.
Structure and Organization
Numerous offices make up the agency, each playing a key role in protecting America’s food supply. To learn more, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/informational/aboutfsis/structure-and-organization/structure-and-organization.
Agency leadership information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/informational/aboutfsis/agency-leadership.