Constituent Update - April 27, 2018
FSIS Announces the Fiscal Year 2018 Dioxin Survey
FSIS is announcing plans to begin sampling for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Dioxin Survey on June 1, 2018. FSIS will also issue instructions to inspection program personnel (IPP) in an upcoming FSIS Notice. This is the next survey in the recurring five-year cycle of dioxin surveys that FSIS conducts with other federal partners, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The goal of the survey is to determine levels of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds in U.S. beef, pork, and poultry. Dioxins are a group of compounds of public health concern. These compounds are ubiquitous, but generally occur at very low levels throughout the environment as persistent environmental contaminants. FSIS plans to extend dioxin sampling to Siluriformes fish and fish products and will issue instructions to IPP on Siluriformes fish sampling for the 2018 Dioxin Survey in a separate notice. The survey will be conducted over 12 months.
Reminder: FSIS Comment Period on Petition on Beef and Meat Labeling Requirements Ends May 17
FSIS extended the comment period for the petition submitted by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) requesting that the Agency 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 extended the comment period for an additional 30 days to May 17.
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 Quarterly Sampling Results
On April 30, 2018, the sampling results for FSIS regulated products will be updated on the FSIS website. Every quarter, the Agency calculates the 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. For more information, please visit: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/science-data/data-sets-visualizations/microbiology.
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 22, 2018, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 22,651 beef trim samples (18,609 domestic and 4,042 imported), 4,739 routine follow-up samples (4,625 domestic and 114 imported) and 380 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.
Export Requirements Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following country:
- Republic of Korea
For a complete list of countries, visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/inspection/import-export.