Constituent Update - January 15, 2021
USDA Announces Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and Acting FSIS Administrator
The government will transition to a new administration next week. As part of the orderly transition, Secretary Perdue designated acting officers to perform the duties assigned to political positions. Paul Kiecker has been designated to temporarily serve as Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and Terri Nintemann as Acting Administrator for FSIS. They will be assuming these positions in the coming days.
FSIS Publishes FY 2020 Annual Catalog of FSIS Sampling Projects
FSIS published the FY 2020 Annual Catalog of Sampling Projects which lists the various sampling projects and related test codes for the Agency’s sampling programs up through the end of FY 2020. This is a searchable list of sampling projects for meat, poultry, and egg products. Updating this catalog annually allows FSIS to continue providing better customer service and transparency.
To view additional data and learn more about FSIS sampling, visit www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/science/Sampling+Programs.
FSIS Updating Table on Individual Sanitary Measures (ISMs)
FSIS is updating its table on Individual Sanitary Measures (ISMs) equivalence determinations. An ISM is a foreign country’s alternative procedure or a change in an inspection procedure for products intended for export to the United States. Before countries start using ISMs for meat, poultry, or egg products exported to the United States, FSIS evaluates the ISMs to determine whether the new procedure achieves an equivalent level of protection to the procedures in FSIS’ inspection system. FSIS began compiling this list as a reference for sharing ISM approvals. The list has been updated to include ISMs recently approved as well as some older ISMs that were not on the previous list. Moving forward, FSIS will update this table on an ongoing basis, 30 days after new ISMs are approved.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 3-5 business days to evaluate.
TIP: Ingredients statements on labels may display ingredients as either a composite (for multi-ingredient components) or individual component listing; however, for composite listing, the product formula should list the ingredients in the order of predominance.
An ingredients statement is required on labeling for meat, poultry or egg products composed of two or more ingredients. There are two methods by which ingredients and sub-ingredients may be declared within the ingredients statement on a label: by individual components or, for multi-ingredient components, as a composite listing. Although either presentation is permitted, the product formula submitted with the label application must follow the same format. FSIS will return label applications in which the product formula does not match the ingredients statement; if the two are inconsistent, FSIS cannot verify the order of predominance of ingredients listed on the label.
A composite listing for a multi-ingredient component declares each ingredient individually in the correct order of predominance. If the product consists of multi-ingredient components and the percentage of all ingredients within each multi-ingredient component is known, then the ingredients statement could list each ingredient in the components separately in the correct order of predominance rather than listing a sub-ingredient twice as a part of each multi-ingredient component. For example, for a cooked sausage made with two seasoning blends, both containing salt, and for which the supplier provided the percentage of each individual ingredient, the producer could sum up the total amount of salt present in both seasoning blends. Since the amount of each sub-ingredient in the seasoning blends is known, each sub-ingredient may be listed just once in the correct order of predominance on the label, including salt, instead of grouping the sub-ingredients by seasoning. In this example the ingredients statement would read “Ingredients: pork, water, spices, salt, dextrose, paprika, sodium phosphate.”
Product composed of multi-ingredient components, such as a pepperoni pizza, typically lists the product’s ingredients on the label by providing sub-listings of each multi-ingredient component in parenthesis. For example, “Ingredients: crust (flour, yeast, water, salt, olive oil), mozzarella cheese (milk, enzymes, salt), sauce (tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, olive oil), pepperoni (pork, beef, salt, spices, dextrose, lactic acid starter culture, paprika, sodium nitrite).” Each multi-ingredient component is listed in the correct order of predominance and each ingredient within each component is also listed in the correct order of predominance.
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 to Post Individual Category Status and Aggregate Results for Poultry Carcasses, Chicken Parts, and Comminuted Poultry Tested for Salmonella
On January 21, 2020, FSIS will update the individual establishment Salmonella performance standard category information for raw poultry carcasses, raw chicken parts and comminuted poultry products at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/salmonella-verification-testing-program/establishment-categories.
Additionally, FSIS will post the aggregate sampling results showing the number of establishments in categories 1, 2, or 3 for establishments producing young chicken or turkey carcasses, raw chicken parts or not ready-to-eat (NRTE) comminuted poultry products at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/salmonella-verification-testing-program/aggregate-data.
FSIS Announces Program Leadership Change
Karen Hunter has joined the Office of Field Operations (OFO) team as a detailee in an Executive Associate for Regulatory Operations position this week. She will be providing executive level support for the Jackson and Alameda Districts.
Karen joined USDA in 2004. She worked in several agencies within the research, education, and economics mission area before joining FSIS’ Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education (OPACE) in 2013. She served as the Director of the Digital and Executive Communications Staff within OPACE until 2019 when she assumed the role of Chief of Staff within the Office of the Administrator. She also recently served as Acting Chief Operating Officer where she provided leadership and guidance on strategic operational issues. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education, and Master of Science degrees in Animal Science and Career and Technical Education.
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for the following countries:
- China, The People’s Republic of
Complete information can be found at https://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 update was recently issued:
FSIS Directive 6100.8 - Instructions for Verification of Immunologically Castrated Hogs