Constituent Update - April 2, 2021
Federal Programs Available to FSIS-Regulated Facilities
The Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2021 required FSIS to post on its website a list of each loan program, loan guarantee program, and grant program available for FSIS regulated facilities.
Additionally, the Act appropriated funds for a grant program to facilities operating under State-inspection or facilities currently conducting only operations exempt from federal inspection, to assist with costs incurred in making improvements or carrying out other planning activities necessary to obtain a federal Grant of Inspection (GOI); or to operate as a State-inspected facility that is compliant under the respective Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program.
Currently, the grant program is being developed by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the FSIS website will be updated to include this information once it is complete.
As of March 27, 2021 - FSIS has published, on its website, a list of existing federal grant programs. The programs listed on the FSIS website are intended to support business activities to increase additional slaughter or processing capacity in the United States. Once the grant program is implemented, which will be administered by AMS, FSIS will update the website and highlight this expanded grant opportunity.
More information can be found on FSIS’ Grants & Financial Options for Inspection webpage.
Finding Public askFSIS Q&As
As we have announced in the Constituent Update on February 19, 2021, askFSIS and the Small Plant Help Desk were transferred to a new data management platform. As part of this move, all public askFSIS Q&As are being transferred to the Ask USDA “Knowledge” platform. To more easily find the askFSIS-related Q&As, FSIS is including “askFSIS Public Q&A:” as a prefix in the Q&A’s title. By including “askFSIS” in your search term, it will help filter the results to those more relevant to FSIS-related policies.
For example: By searching “askFSIS Water”
If you don’t find the answer to your specific question in the public Q&As on Ask USDA, please remember to return to askFSIS or the Small Plant Help Desk to submit your question instead of submitting it on the Ask USDA site. This will ensure it gets to the proper technical expert as quickly as possible.
FSIS to Modernize its Microbiological Testing System for Campylobacter
As part of its continuing effort to modernize the diagnostic capabilities of the FSIS food testing laboratories, FSIS will update the rapid screening technology used to detect Campylobacter species in FSIS regulated products. The FSIS laboratory system evaluated commercially available rapid screening technologies for use in the high-throughput FSIS laboratory environment and has decided to utilize the 3M™ Molecular Detection System (MDS) to perform rapid initial screens of regulatory samples for Campylobacter species. FSIS anticipates gaining laboratory workflow efficiencies that will lead to quicker results reporting. FSIS laboratories are currently in the transition phase and will share additional information over the next two months as the FSIS laboratory system moves towards full implementation.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 5-7 business days to evaluate.
TIP: Meat and poultry products bearing the USDA inspection legend must include the official establishment number either within the legend or, under certain circumstances, elsewhere on the container.
USDA regulations require that all inspected and passed meat and poultry product labels bear an inspection legend and the official establishment number (9 CFR 317.2(c)(5) and 381.123). The establishment number is used to identify all containers of inspected products prepared in the establishment.
The legend must appear on the principal display panel (PDP). However, the establishment number may appear in any of the following locations per 9 CFR 317.2(i) and 381.123(b):
- Within the legend as shown in 9 CFR 312.2(b)(1) and 381.96;
- Elsewhere on the exterior of the container (e.g., the lid of a can);
- Off the exterior of the container (e.g., on a metal clip used to close casings). If the number appears off the exterior of the container, a statement of its location must be printed contiguous to the legend (e.g., “Est. No. on metal clip”); or
- On an insert label placed under a transparent covering.
Independent of the location, the establishment number must be in a font size that is prominent, conspicuous, and easily legible.
Note: On egg product labeling, the establishment number must appear within the shield or elsewhere on the principal display panel or other prominent location and preceded by the letter “G” (9 CFR 590.413).
For illustrations of the meat, poultry and egg legends, see the following link: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/how-find-usda-establishment
FSIS will continue to provide updates regarding label turnaround time, as well as suggestions to assist industry to streamline label submissions in its Constituent Update.
Export Requirements Update
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/import-export-library.
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/policy/directives-notices. The following policy update was
FSIS Notice 12 -21 - Additional Gel Coolant Packs for the Shipment of Raw Poultry Rinsate Samples