Constituent Update - August 7, 2020
FSIS Posts Webinar on Assistance for Small Scale Meat Processing
On July 28, FSIS and Rural Development (RD) held a joint webinar that detailed the numerous support options that are available to individuals who might be interested in starting a small-scale meat processing operation or growing their existing business. In the webinar, Under Secretary for Food Safety Mindy Brashears and other members of FSIS leadership shared information on state and federal programs, as well as the process to apply for a Federal Grant of Inspection. Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand and RD leadership went over the loans, grants, and loan guarantees available to assist small and very small meat processors offered by RD. A video recording of the webinar and slides presented can be found at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/speeches-presentations.
NACMCF Subcommittee to Meet in August
The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) Subcommittee on Appropriate Product Testing Procedures and Criteria to Verify Process Control for Microbial Pathogens in Ready-To-Eat (RTE) Foods, will convene a teleconference subcommittee meeting on August 10, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET and August 13, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.
The subcommittee will be meeting to discuss their progress and plan for additional subcommittee meetings throughout the Summer and Fall of 2020.
There will be no in-person participation. To attend the teleconference, please contact Karen Thomas, Advisory Committee Specialist, at 202-690-6620, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FSIS to Host Western Laboratory Open House
FSIS plans to host a virtual open house at the Western Laboratory in Albany, California on August 24, 2020, from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PT. The open house will offer an inside look at the sample analysis process from beginning to end. The event will provide an overview of what happens to a sample from the time it is delivered to an FSIS lab to the time the sample result is reported. Attendees will receive an introductory presentation about the lab system followed by a virtual visit to sample receiving and other stations within the lab to learn how samples are processed and analyzed for microbial pathogens and chemical residues. Unique analyses to the Western Laboratory include pesticides and canned foods.
Participants must pre-register. Please go to https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings/meetings-archive/upcoming-meetings/meeting-registration-ophs-open-house-western to register. A confirmation email with additional logistics will be provided to attendees prior to the open house session.
FSIS Releases Study on the Source of Semicarbazide in Chicken
After a U.S. trading partner detected semicarbazide—a marker for the antimicrobial compound nitrofurazone--in multiple shipments of exported U.S. chicken, FSIS conducted a study to investigate the formation of this marker within the poultry plant slaughter and processing environment. The study concluded that semicarbazide can be generated as a byproduct of the production process and is not associated with delivering nitrofurazone to poultry at preharvest. Since the completion of this study, monitoring of domestic poultry products has not identified semicarbazide.
An article on the study was recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Food Protection. The study is available at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/science/scientific-literature.
FSIS Discontinues Sampling and Testing for Chicken Necks, Hearts, Gizzards, and Livers
FSIS began collecting and sampling chicken necks, heart, gizzards, and livers for Salmonella and Campylobacter in November 2016, as announced in the Federal Register (80 FR 3940), FSIS has collected sufficient data to determine that it no longer needs to collect samples of these products. The agency is analyzing the results from these sampling projects, and will communicate the results of the analysis during FY 2021. Additionally, the agency does not intend to propose performance standards for these products. Therefore, FSIS has stopped testing chicken necks, hearts, gizzards, and livers for Salmonella and Campylobacter. FSIS will use sampling results to conduct outreach with industry and consumers to encourage the safe production and handling of chicken livers, which are often consumed undercooked. Chicken necks, hearts and gizzards are not typically consumed in this manner.
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 39-20 - Limited Period for Changes to Existing Elections Under the Federal Flexible Spending Account
FSIS Directive 10000.1 Revision 1 - Policy on Use of Results from Non-FSIS Laboratories
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for the following countries:
- China, People’s Republic of
- European Union
- French Polynesia
- Kiribati, Republic of
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia, Republic
- Solomon Islands
- Western Samoa (Samoa)
Complete information can be found at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.