Constituent Update - July 18, 2014
Revision of FSIS Campylobacter Laboratory Method
FSIS has developed pathogen reduction performance standards for Campylobacter testing of raw poultry using a qualitative laboratory method. Additionally, FSIS has been enumerating Campylobacter from these samples. However, the agency has not used the enumeration data to evaluate establishment performance or to develop the performance standard. Beginning Aug. 18, 2014, FSIS will no longer conduct the enumeration procedure for the direct plating analysis. The agency has revised the Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook method chapter MLG 41.03 and associated flow chart MLG 41 Appendix 1.01 to remove the enumeration method.
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.
FSIS Makes Leadership Changes
Today, FSIS Administrator Al Almanza announced several personnel changes among its executive management team. These moves were made to enhance agency effectiveness and strengthen an already strong team. Effective July 27, 2014, the following people will be assuming new positions:
- OIEA Assistant Administrator Bill Smith will become the Assistant Administrator for OFO;
- OFO Assistant Administrator Daniel Engeljohn will become the Assistant Administrator for OPPD;
- OPPD Assistant Administrator Rachel Edelstein will become the Deputy Assistant Administrator for OPPD;
- OPPD Deputy Assistant Administrator Soumaya Tohamy will become the Deputy Assistant Administrator for ODIFP;
- Deputy Chief Information Officer Carl Mayes will become the Acting Assistant Administrator for OIEA.
These changes are being made strictly to enhance FSIS’ ability to achieve its mission.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following countries:
- European Union
- United Arab Emirates
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
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 résumé 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. 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 July 23, 2014. Self-nominations are also welcome.
For additional information, contact Program Specialist Jane Johnson at 202-690-1277 or Jane.firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 update was recently issued:
- Notice 33-14, Annual Notice of Right to Request Union Representation
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 July 13, 2014, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 6,402 beef trim samples (5,486 domestic and 916 imported); 1,941 routine follow-up samples (1,827 domestic and 114 imported); and 75 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. Eighty-eight samples were found to be positive; 40 were domestic trim samples, three were imported trim samples; 41 were domestic follow-up samples, and four 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.
New Generic Labeling, Labeling Overview Webinar Scheduled; Updated Generic Labeling Q & A’s Published
In the final rule effective Jan. 6, 2014, FSIS expanded the circumstances in which labels may be considered “generically approved,” allowing establishments to label a broader range of products without first submitting the label to the agency for approval. Companies will still need to submit the following labels to FSIS for prior label approval: labels bearing certain claims, such as organic, natural or animal-raising claims labels for temporary approval labels for products produced under religious exemption labels of product for export that bear labeling deviations.
FSIS recently expanded a series of Questions and Answers clarifying the new generic labeling regulations. The Q & A’s can be found on the FSIS website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/labeling/labeling-policies/faq-generic-labeling.
FSIS will host a new webinar on this subject on July 29, 2014, at 2 p.m., ET. The updated webinar will provide an overview of the new generic labeling regulations, including additional information related to generic label approval not presented in previous webinars. The webinar will also cover new topics, such as required labeling features and a summary of label submission procedures. To access the webinar, go to https://www.teleconference.att.com/servlet/ATTClogin and follow the on-screen instructions. Use the following information when logging on: Meeting Number: 888-844-9904 Code:2956126.
Please be sure to log on as a participant. For registration questions, contact Kristin Goodwin at 301-504-0878 or email@example.com.
Food Safety Discovery Zone!
The USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone (FSDZ) is back on the road! From July 25-27, the FSDZ will be in Lowell, Massachusetts, at the Lowell Folk Festival.
The FSDZ is a 40-foot interactive vehicle that educates consumers about the four food safety messages—Clean, Cook, Separate and Chill—from the Food Safe Families campaign. Some of the features in the vehicle include a Hand Washing Station, where visitors can learn the proper techniques to washing hands, and the Microscope Station that magnifies harmful bacteria.
Watch for announcements of upcoming events. For dates, times and more information, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fsdz-schedule.
FSIS is the public health agency in the USDA responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry and processed egg products is safe, wholesome 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.