Constituent Update - July 03, 2014
NACMCF Subcommittees to Meet
The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) subcommittees will hold public meetings at Patriots Plaza 3, 1st Floor Auditorium, 355 E. Street SW, Washington, DC 20024 on July 8-10, 2014.
The subcommittee on the Study of Microbiological Criteria as Indicators of Process Control or Insanitary Conditions will meet on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to develop guidance to assist the Department of Defense (DOD) in refining its microbiological and other criteria for evaluation of process control and insanitary conditions at the point of production. The subcommittee will focus on both raw and ready-to-eat food products and will evaluate both pathogens and other indicators of insanitary conditions. Updated standards will assist DOD in their evaluation on whether product produced under certain circumstances that is destined for U.S. military personnel is safe and/or wholesome. The information gleaned from this project will assist all U.S. food safety agencies.
To attend, please contact Advisory Committee Specialist Karen Thomas-Sharp at 202-690-6620 or by email at Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to increased security measures, all persons wishing to attend must RSVP in advance.
USDA Seeking NACMPI Nominations
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 résumé 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. Self-nominations are also welcome.
For additional information, contact Program Specialist Jane Johnson at 202-690-1277 or Jane.email@example.com. To read the Federal Register notice, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/federal-register/federal-register-notices.
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 Korea
- South Africa
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
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 29-14, Ninth Food Defense Plan Survey
- Notice 31-14, Supplemental Instructions for Performing the Hazard Analysis Verification Task in Establishments That Produce NRTE Stuffed Poultry Products
Severe Weather Food Safety Tips
FSIS is issuing food safety recommendations for the Mid-Atlantic states potentially affected by severe weather conditions related to Tropical Storm Arthur. The National Weather Service announced that Tropical Storm Arthur has achieved hurricane strength today, as it approaches the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This type of weather forecast presents the possibility of power outages that could compromise the safety of stored food.
Consumers can learn about FSIS’ food safety recommendations from FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vGAZ64T0uE&feature=plcp. The video has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” is also available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/shared/PDF/Severe_Storms_and_Hurricanes_Guide.pdf and can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at www.AskKaren.gov or m.AskKaren.gov on a smartphone. Mobile Ask Karen can also be downloaded from the Apple and Android app stores. Consumers can e-mail, chat with a live representative or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline directly from the app. To use these features from Mobile Ask Karen, simply choose “Contact Us” from the menu. The live chat option and the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), are available on weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
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 June 29, 2014, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 6,301 beef trim samples (5,412 domestic and 889 imported); 1,935 routine follow-up samples (1,821 domestic and 114 imported); and 72 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. Eighty-eight samples were found to be positive; 40 were domestic trim samples; 3 were imported trim samples; 41 were domestic follow-up samples; and 4 were non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. To date, two samples have been positive for both O157:H7 and non-O157 STEC, and six samples have been positive for two different non-O157 O-groups.
To review testing results, visit the E. coli data tables at 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.