Constituent Update - January 27, 2023
FSIS Names Food Safety Fellows
FSIS has selected five Food Safety Fellows through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) program. The fellows are students currently working towards their Ph.D. and have an interest in improving food safety and public health. During their fellowship, in collaboration with FSIS scientists, they will apply their scientific and technical knowledge to inform FSIS decision making and improve the safety of the food supply.
The five fellows are:
Brittani Bedford, Pennsylvania State University. Brittani is developing antimicrobial packaging to reduce Salmonella in poultry. The packaging material is coated in an antimicrobial compound, which could reduce the quantity of pathogens that might be present. This project may reduce foodborne illnesses and food waste by reducing pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms.
Kingsley Bentum, Tuskegee University. Kingsley is developing an improved identification method for Campylobacter and Salmonella in environmental samples and will look at the potential for antimicrobial resistance to develop in these pathogens.
Azin Farmanfarmaee, University of Georgia. Azin is investigating the use of radio frequency (RF) technology to improve pasteurization of dried egg powders. This project will improve our understanding of RF heating technology and could result in a more effective pasteurization process for dried egg powders.
Rutwik Joshi, Texas Tech University. Rutwik is developing a rapid detection method for Salmonella from poultry using a quantum dot based fluorescent detection technique. This method requires minimal equipment and could be used to detect Salmonella in the field.
Lauren Lee, Texas A & M University. Lauren is investigating potential changes in Salmonella levels in poultry products along the supply chain. The findings will provide information to determine where additional controls and/or future educational activities could be focused to reduce salmonellosis.
FSIS Posts AAR for Multistate E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Possibly Associated with Beef
FSIS conducted an outbreak investigation of eight E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in collaboration with public health officials from California, Idaho, New York, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eighty-three percent of cases reported beef exposure prior to illness onset. This outbreak highlights the need for continued outreach to food retail stores and preparers about best practices for grinding and preparing ground beef.
Additional reports and information about FSIS outbreak investigations are available on the FSIS website.
FSIS Posts Establishment-Specific Dataset on Exploratory and Special Program Poultry Sampling
Today, FSIS published a new Establishment-Specific Laboratory Sampling dataset on Exploratory and Special Program Poultry Sampling.
The dataset includes data from June 2013 through September 2022 on multiple inactive non-regulatory poultry projects such as religious-exempt chicken carcasses and very low volume sampling projects, as well as data from three ongoing projects. The ongoing projects include exploratory sampling for mechanically separated chicken, exploratory sampling for mechanically separated turkey, and sampling for chicken parts—specifically quarter and half carcasses. The dataset also includes data associated with special programs, such as a response to an outbreak or testing a new sampling methodology.
To remain consistent with the other establishment-specific datasets, the first datasets will be posted with an archive and current file. The archive file will contain data through fiscal year (FY) 2021; the current file will contain FY 2022 data. Both the archive and current files are planned to publish on January 27, 2023. Subsequent postings will follow the regular posting schedule for establishment-specific datasets. New datasets are released the first Friday of the next quarter with a quarter lag, meaning data for FY 2023 Q1 (December 2022) are planned to be released on April 7, 2023, data for FY 2023 Q2 (March 2023) are planned to be released July 7, 2023, and so forth. Existing datasets will be updated quarterly.
In preparation for the first posting, the data was shared with establishments via email on December 15, 2022. Establishments can access the data via the “Industry Sampling Results for Primary Establishment Number Detailed” report within the Public Health Information System (PHIS).
FSIS Posts Quarterly Sampling Data
Today, FSIS updated the following quarterly sampling data sets:
- Quarterly Sampling Results – The quarterly sampling data has been updated to include results through the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2023 (December 2022). Quarterly, FSIS calculates 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. This posting includes sampling results for raw beef, raw pork, raw chicken, raw turkey, processed eggs, and ready-to-eat products.
- Quarterly Sampling Reports on Antimicrobial Resistance Profile – This data release includes the sampling projects and pathogens reported under the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). It also includes the antimicrobial resistance data on pathogens Salmonella, Campylobacter, Enterococcus, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), including coli O157:H7, isolate count, and resistance profile by FSIS product and cecal categories, through the fourth quarter of FY 2022 (September 2022).
- Quarterly Sampling Reports for Salmonella Serotype Information – This post includes quarterly Salmonella serotype data for Salmonella isolates collected from FSIS product categories. This release includes serotype data through the fourth quarter of FY 2022 (September 2022).
Due to a delay in residue reporting, FSIS will update the following quarterly data sampling data set on February 3, 2023:
- Quarterly U.S. National Residue Sampling Report – Residue sampling data for the first quarter of FY 2023 (December 2022). The report covers domestic (scheduled and inspector-generated) and import sampling programs.
FSIS Posts Updated Quarterly Humane Handling Datasets
Today, the quarterly humane handling inspection datasets were updated on the FSIS website. The datasets include: (1) the number of administrative enforcement actions taken; (2) the number of humane handling verification tasks performed; (3) the number of humane handling verification tasks that resulted in a noncompliance record (NR); and (4) the number of hours spent observing and verifying the humane treatment of livestock. This posting contains the most recent four quarters of data by district, HACCP size, and quarter.
Available for Public Comment
FSIS seeks public comments on proposed rules and notices, which are viewable on the FSIS Federal Register & Rulemaking webpage. FSIS is currently seeking comments on the following:
- Until February 17: Prior Label Approval System: Expansion of Generic Label Approval
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available on the FSIS Policy webpage. The following policy updates were recently issued:
FSIS Notice 03-23 - Planned USDA Travel Partial System Outage
FSIS Notice 04-23 - Flexible Work Arrangements for Inspection Program Personnel
FSIS Notice 05-23 - Cloth Sample Collection Method to Replace N60 Excision Sampling for Beef Manufacturing Trimmings and Bench Trim
FSIS Notice 06-23 - Expansion of FSIS Non-O157 Toxin-producing Escherichia Coli (STEC) Testing to Additional Raw Beef Products
FSIS Directive 4410.5 - Student Loan Repayment Program for In-Plant Veterinary Medical Officers - Revision 2
FSIS Directive 12600.2 - Reimbursable Overtime Inspection Services for Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products - Revision 3
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following:
- New Zealand
- French Polynesia (Tahiti)
- New Caledonia
- European Union
- Dominican Republic
Complete information can be found at the FSIS Import & Export Library.