Constituent Update - August 23, 2019
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
FSIS Labels are currently taking about 12-14 business days to evaluate.
TIP: When an establishment voluntarily submits a label for review that is eligible for generic approval and FSIS has changes, the establishment does not need to resubmit the label to FSIS for approval. After making necessary changes, the label is generically approved and can be applied to product immediately.
Many labels applied to meat and poultry products are eligible for generic approval. This is because these labels do not fall into any of the four categories of labels that require approval by FSIS described in 9 CFR 412.1(c). Any label for which prior approval by FSIS is not required and that is fully compliant is generically approved under 9 CFR 412.2.
Establishments may voluntarily submit labels eligible for generic approval to FSIS for evaluation. However, because FSIS evaluation is not required for these labels, the label application is automatically designated as “second priority” in the Label Submission and Approval System (LSAS). FSIS evaluates second priority labels as resources permit. When FSIS evaluates and returns a second priority label to the establishment and identifies changes that need to be made to the label, the label doesn’t need to be resubmitted to FSIS. If an establishment elects to resubmit a second priority label application after it makes the necessary changes to the label, the label goes to end of the second priority pool. The most expedient course of action is for the establishment to make the necessary changes to bring the label into full compliance and not resubmit the label to FSIS. Once brought into full compliance, the label can be used.
Questions about reasons for return noted in the application should be directed to the staff officer that evaluated the label or submitted through askFSIS.
For more information about the kinds of labels that are eligible for generic approval, please see the FSIS Compliance Guide for Label Approval at the following link: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/bf170761-33e3-4a2d-8f86-940c2698e2c5/Label-Approval-Guide.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.
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.
FSIS Names New Executive Associate for Laboratory Services
Dr. Bill Shaw has been selected as the Executive Associate for Laboratory Services (EALS) in the Office of Public Health Science. The EALS leads the 3 FSIS Field Services Laboratories and the accompanying Laboratory Quality Assurance Staff and Food Emergency Response Network Staff in the analysis of meat, poultry, and egg products for known and emerging foodborne hazards. Prior to joining OPHS, Bill spent his first years at FSIS in the Office of Policy and Program Development where he eventually became the Director of the Risk, Innovations, and Management Staff. Bill received his Bachelor of Science in Food Science from the University of Delaware in 1996. He then received a Master of Science in Food Science in 2001 and Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts.
Export Requirements Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following countries:
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- Kiribati, Republic of
- New Caledonia
- South Africa
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- FSIS Notice 27-19 - Changes to Verification and Exploratory Poultry Sampling Programs
- FSIS Notice 26-19 - FSIS Sampling for Labeling Claims Verification