Constituent Update - April 23, 2021
FSIS to Post Quarterly Sampling Reports for Salmonella Serotype and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) Information
On April 30, 2021, FSIS will post quarterly Salmonella serotype and PFGE data for Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) isolates collected from FSIS product categories.
This new data release includes serotype and PFGE information from the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016 through the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 and is available on the Microbiology web page. The next report update will be in July 2021.
Comparisons between two individual quarters or even two years would be insufficient to draw meaningful conclusions. For this reason, aggregate information in these tables spanning Fiscal Years 2016 to 2020 should be considered descriptive.
PFGE is a laboratory technique to produce a DNA fingerprint with a specific pattern for a group of the same type of bacteria. This technique can determine PFGE pattern recurrence, which may suggest potential harborage of this strain in live animals or the associated environment in an establishment. In coordination with public health partners, FSIS transitioned to Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) and discontinued the use of PFGE for Salmonella, STEC and Campylobacter in 2019. Salmonella serotyping is a method for grouping different types of Salmonella based on the bacterium’s surface structures. FSIS previously used a molecular serotyping assay to provide serotype, but transitioned to using WGS to provide Salmonella serotype in January 1, 2020.
FSIS to Post Updated Quarterly Sampling Reports on Antimicrobial Resistance Profile
On April 30, 2021, the quarterly antimicrobial resistance data for FSIS product categories will be updated on the FSIS website. FSIS will also post antimicrobial resistance data for cecal samples. The sampling projects and pathogens in this data release include those reported under the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). The release includes antimicrobial resistance data on pathogens Salmonella, Campylobacter, Enterococcus, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), including E. coli O157:H7, isolate counts and resistance profile by FSIS product and cecal categories.
Furthermore, the release includes antimicrobial resistance data from the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2016 through the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2020, which is also available on the Microbiology web page under Antimicrobial Resistance. The next report update will be around July 2021.
Antimicrobial resistance is an extremely complex pathogen characteristic. Comparisons between two quarters or even two years would be insufficient to draw meaningful conclusions. For this reason, aggregate information in these tables spanning Fiscal Years 2016 to 2020 should be considered descriptive.
The NARMS is an interagency, collaborative partnership with State and local public health departments, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This surveillance system tracks changes in antimicrobial susceptibility of select foodborne enteric bacteria found in ill people (CDC), retail meats (FDA), and food animals (USDA). The NARMS program at USDA FSIS focuses on two sampling points—samples collected from food products, and intestinal (cecal) content samples. The NARMS data helps to assess the nature and magnitude of antibiotic resistance in bacteria recovered at different points along the farm-to-fork continuum.
FSIS to Post Updated Quarterly Sampling Results
On April 30, 2021, the sampling results for FSIS regulated products will be updated on the FSIS website. Quarterly, FSIS calculates prevalence, volume weighted percent positive, or percent positive calculations for microbial pathogens in FSIS regulated products that are currently sampled through existing sampling projects using the prior 12 months of sampling data. Sampling results are available for raw beef, raw pork, raw chicken, raw turkey, processed eggs, and ready-to-eat products.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 5-7 business days to evaluate.
TIP: Label applications including claims certified by a third-party authority must include a current certificate supporting the claim.
Establishments using third-party certification programs for verification of specific label claims (e.g., “Certified Gluten Free,” or “Certified Grass Fed”) must include a current certificate in the label application to support the claim and for FSIS to verify that the claim is truthful and not misleading. Because most certifications expire after one year, FSIS will consider a certificate current based on a one-year time span unless the certificate states otherwise. For example, a label bearing a “Halal Certified” claim must include in the application a certificate supporting the claim which is dated within the past 12 months. FSIS will return applications with no documentation or an expired third-party certificate necessary to support a statement or claim, along with a request for updated documentation.
A link to the FSIS Labeling Guideline on Documentation Needed to Substantiate Animal Raising Claims for Label Submissions that includes information on the need for current third-party certificates can be found on the FSIS webpage at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/import/RaisingClaims.pdf
Additional guidance about the types of claims that must be submitted to FSIS for approval and claims which may be approved generically may be found at
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.
Constituent Update to be Optimized for Mobile
Customer service and modernization continue to be top priorities at FSIS. Coming soon the Constituent Update will be better than ever, as we’re rolling out a new design and an improved user experience. If you currently receive the Constituent Update, you will be automatically subscribed and will receive future issues via email. This new design is optimized for digital and mobile users and it is equally accessible on your computer.
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following country:
Complete information can be found at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/inspection/import-export/import-export-library.