Constituent Update - April 13, 2018
FSIS Extends Comment Period on Petition on Beef and Meat Labeling Requirements
FSIS is extending the comment period for a petition submitted by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) requesting that FSIS exclude products not derived directly from animals that have been raised and slaughtered from the definition of “beef” and “meat.” The petition, which is dated Feb., 9, 2018, was posted on the FSIS petitions webpage on Feb. 16, 2017. The petition is available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media_file/2020-07/18-01-Petition-US-Cattlement-Association020918.pdf.
FSIS’ regulations permit interested persons to submit comments on petitions filed with the Agency and provide for posting these comments on the FSIS website (9 CFR 392.7). The regulations also state that comments on a petition should be submitted within 60 days of the posting date of the petition (9 CFR 392.7(b)). The comment period for the USCA petition was scheduled to close on April 17, 2018. However, the petition has generated significant interest from stakeholders and on April 10, 2018, FSIS received a request to extend the comment period. Therefore, FSIS is extending the comment period for an additional 30 days.
In addition, to facilitate submission and public posting of comments on the petition, interested persons may submit comments online via the federal eRulemaking portal at: http://www.regulations.gov ; by mail sent to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Mailstop 3758, Room 6065, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700; or by hand or courier delivery to 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700.
All comments submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and identification number FSIS-2018-0016. Comments on the petition should be submitted by May 17, 2018.
FSIS Posts Updated Dataset on Import Refusals
On April 16, 2018, FSIS will update the publicly posted dataset on import refusals for products regulated by FSIS. Federal law requires that every commercial shipment of imported meat, poultry and egg products be inspected prior to the products entering U.S. commerce. FSIS inspects each shipment to verify labeling, proper certification, general condition, or signs of tampering and to identify product adulterated by transportation damage. FSIS also performs additional activities on a random and/or for-cause basis such as physical product examination and laboratory sampling for pathogens and chemical residues.
Any product that does not meet FSIS requirements is refused entry and the importer has up to 45 days (30 days for egg products) to have the product destroyed for use as human food, re-exported/returned to the foreign country, converted to animal food, or brought into compliance with FSIS requirements, if applicable (e.g., relabeled, remarked, replacement certificate). This dataset is updated around the 15th of each month and contains each shipment with product that was refused entry.
For more information, please visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/science-data/data-sets-visualizations.
FSIS Announces Second Webinar on the Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection Proposed Rule
On April 16, FSIS will host its second webinar on the proposed rule “Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection” (83 FR 4780, Feb. 1, 2018). The purpose of the webinar is to provide an overview of the proposal. FSIS will respond to questions and provide additional information concerning the proposal during the webinar. However, FSIS is not taking comments on the proposal during the webinar.
The proposed rule can be found at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/frn2016-0017. Comments on the rule may be submitted online via the federal eRulemaking portal, available at http://www.regulations.gov; by mail sent to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza III, Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700; or by hand or courier delivery to Patriots Plaza III, 355 E St. S.W., Room 8-163A, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700. All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2016-0017. The comment period will end on May 2, 2018.
The webinar will take place on April 16 from 2-4 p.m. ET. To access the webinar, visit http://ems8.intellor.com/login/804919 and follow the on-screen instructions. Use the following information when logging on: Meeting Number: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633, Access Code: 0586029#. Please be sure to log on as a participant. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the website upon availability. To register, contact Cody Kahlig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
E. coli Testing Update
FSIS posts biweekly updates of the Agency’s raw ground beef E. coli sampling program, which includes testing results of raw ground beef component samples for E. coli O157:H7 and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STECs) from FSIS routine and follow-up sampling programs. Data are also presented for non-O157 STECs by each non-O157 STEC serogroup.
Between June 4, 2012 and April 8, 2018, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 22,480 beef trim samples (18,440 domestic and 4,040 imported), 4,721 routine follow-up samples (4,607 domestic and 114 imported) and 377 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. 213 samples were found to be positive; 128 were domestic trim samples, 11 were imported trim samples, 70 were domestic follow-up samples, and four were non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. To date, three samples have been positive for both O157:H7 and at least one non-O157 STEC strain and 11 samples have been positive for two different non-O157 O-groups. To review testing results, visit the E. coli data tables at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/science-data/data-sets-visualizations/microbiology.
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/policy/directives-notices. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- Directive 5030.1 Rev. 1 - Inspection Methodology Utilizing PHIS for the Verification of Regulatory Compliance in Egg Products Plants
- Docket No. FSIS-2018-0008 - Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs; Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
Export Requirements Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following countries:
Complete information can be found at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/inspection/import-export.