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Constituent Update - June 13, 2014

“Kelley Wing” Opens at Eastern Laboratory

The staff at FSIS’ Eastern Laboratory in Athens, Ga., unveiled a new microbiology laboratory that is designed to allow for a better workflow and position the lab to better absorb new sampling initiatives in the future. As part of his May 22 trip to the Eastern Lab, Administrator Al Almanza led the ribbon cutting ceremony and dedicated the new space to former FSIS employee, Dr. Lynda Kelley, who passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 14, 2012.

Dr. Kelley began her career at FSIS as a pathologist in 1987 and was widely recognized at USDA and in the veterinary field for her contributions to public health. She received the USDA Secretary’s Honor Award for Heroism and Emergency Response in 2002 and the Dr. Daniel E. Salmon Award for Exemplary Achievement in Federal Veterinary Medicine shortly before her death in 2012.

At the dedication, Almanza noted Dr. Kelley’s exemplary combination of expertise and passion, remarking that FSIS was fortunate to have Dr. Kelley on its team. Terri Nintemann, ODIFP assistant administrator and one of Dr. Kelley’s supervisors, also spoke at the dedication about her admiration for Dr. Kelley’s extensive professional network and skill as a mentor to the Eastern Lab staff.

Following the dedication, the staff led a tour of the new lab, which Dr. Emilio Esteban, executive associate for laboratory services, said eventually will increase operational capacity by at least 50 percent. The new open lab design consolidates the work that was being done in several separate lab suites, integrating the entire microbiology team into a single functional unit.

New FSA Tools for Poultry Establishments to Begin July 1

Starting July 1, 2014, FSIS Enforcement Investigations and Analysis Officers (EIAOs) will begin completing Food Safety Assessments (FSA) using revised FSA tool questions in establishments producing raw poultry products under the slaughter, non-intact raw and intact raw Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) processing categories. 

Copies of the raw poultry FSA tools are posted on FSIS’ website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/fsis-notices as related documents to FSIS Notice 26-14. The raw poultry FSA tools are revised to focus EIAOs on evaluating factors that are most relevant to poultry establishments’ food safety systems, such as sanitary dressing and otherwise maintaining sanitary conditions, design and implementation of any antimicrobial interventions, sampling data and HACCP system records.

Export Requirement Updates

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

  • People’s Republic of China

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

USDA Seeking Nominations to National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection

USDA is seeking applications and nominations for membership to the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection. Membership is encouraged for individuals with knowledge and interest in meat, poultry and processed egg product safety and other FSIS responsibilities. Persons from industry; state and federal government; public health, scientific and academic communities; and consumers and consumer organizations, as well as all other interested persons, are invited to submit nominations.

For consideration, submit a resume and USDA Advisory Committee Membership Background Information form AD-755. The resume or curriculum vitae must be limited to five, one-sided pages and should include educational background, expertise and a list of select publications. For submissions received that are more than five, one-sided pages in length, only the first five pages will be reviewed. USDA Advisory Committee Membership Background Information form AD-755 is available at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/forms/doc/AD-755.pdf. Nomination packages can be mailed to Secretary Tom Vilsack, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250, Attn: National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection. Nominations must be received by June 16, 2014. Self-nominations are also welcome.

For additional information, contact Designated Federal Officer Sally Fernandez at 202-690-6524 or sally.fernandez@fsis.usda.gov. To read the Federal Register notice, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/federal-register/federal-register-notices.

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 26-14, EIAO Responsibilities Related to Food Safety Assessments in Establishments Producing Comminuted Chicken or Turkey Products
  • Notice 27-14, Letter of Caution Issuance Following Food Safety Assessments in Comminuted Poultry Establishments
  • Directive 10,100.1, FSIS Sampling for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS)

FSIS Food Recalls and Alerts

Stay up-to-date on FSIS’ food recall 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.