Constituent Update - August 5, 2022
USDA Announces Action to Declare Salmonella an Adulterant in Breaded Stuffed Raw Chicken Products
The notice is expected to publish in the Federal Register in the fall. FSIS will be proposing to set the limit at 1 colony forming unit (CFU) of Salmonella per gram for these products, a level that the agency believes will significantly reduce the risk of illness from consuming breaded and stuffed raw chicken products. FSIS will be seeking public comments that address what the standard should be as well as to inform a final implementation plan, including a verification testing program. Once published, the notice will be posted in FSIS’ Federal Register & Rulemaking page for review and comment. When the proposal is finalized, FSIS will announce its final implementation plans and the date it will begin routine testing for Salmonella in these products.
This action is part of FSIS’ broader efforts to reduce Salmonella illnesses associated with poultry. In October 2021, USDA announced it was reevaluating its strategy for controlling Salmonella in poultry. USDA plans to present a proposed framework for a new comprehensive strategy to reduce Salmonella illnesses attributable to poultry in October and convene a public meeting to discuss it in November.
For more details, view the full press release on the USDA website.
FSIS and OSHA Sign MOU to Protect Workers and Enhance Training
Going into effect for five years, the updated MOU provides guidance about how both agencies will collaborate on training, information sharing and workplace hazards. FSIS and OSHA will coordinate FSIS efforts with training on workplace hazards and conditions. The training must be completed within 120 days, with annual refresher training. At FSIS-regulated establishments, OSHA-provided posters will be made available on how to report injuries to OSHA.
Both agencies will continue sharing health and safety data, which will be used to determine if more training or emphasis is needed at FSIS-regulated establishments for FSIS employees. FSIS and OSHA will also share information about new methods or techniques for monitoring and assessing new procedures or chemicals used in FSIS establishments. Where FSIS requires attestations for health and safety protocols, FSIS will provide those to OSHA. This information sharing will benefit both agencies as they collaborate to monitor new practices and worker safety.
The agencies have cooperated for almost 30 years to protect workers, signing their first MOU for worker safety on February 4, 1994.
FSIS to Include Salmonella Quantification in Raw Poultry Rinse Samples
On August 8, 2022, FSIS laboratories will begin using quantification for Salmonella in raw poultry rinses, as previously announced in the July 8, 2022, Constituent Update.
FSIS will continue to use Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook chapter 4.11 to isolate and identify Salmonella in raw poultry rinses. The chapter will be updated to revision 4.12 on August 8 to include the new quantification system.
Salmonella quantification is a significant step in FSIS’ efforts to reduce Salmonella illnesses associated with poultry and to modernize the diagnostic capabilities of the FSIS food testing laboratories. Using this new system, FSIS will be able to measure the amount of Salmonella present in a regulatory sample, not solely its presence or absence.
Data generated using this method will initially be non-regulatory. It will be used to inform quantitative microbial risk assessments that FSIS is conducting to evaluate Salmonella in raw poultry. In the future, FSIS will make data available to establishments through the agency’s Public Health Information System (PHIS) and will share data in a public dataset release. FSIS also plans to extend pathogen quantification technology to sample types other than raw poultry rinses.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 5-7 business days to evaluate.
TIP: When FSIS makes changes to a label submitted voluntarily that is eligible for generic approval, 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 because they do not fall into any of the four categories of labels that are required to be submitted for FSIS approval, as described in the Code of Federal Regulations.
Although establishments may voluntarily submit labels eligible for generic approval to FSIS for evaluation, they are automatically designated as second priority and will be evaluated as resources permit in the order in which they are received. When FSIS evaluates and returns a second priority label, the label does not need to be resubmitted to FSIS after making the necessary changes to bring it into full compliance. If an establishment were to resubmit, the label would again go to the end of the second priority pool for voluntary evaluation.
Questions about reasons for return noted in the label 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.
FSIS will continue to provide updates regarding label turnaround time, as well as suggestions to assist industry to streamline label submissions in the Constituent Update.
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available on the FSIS Policy webpage. The following policy update was recently issued:
FSIS Directive 2450.1 - Fleet Management Program - Revision 7
FSIS Directive 5020.2 - The Technical Review Process - Revision 1
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following:
- European Union
- Western Samoa (Samoa)
- Solomon Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
Complete information can be found at the FSIS Import & Export Library.