Constituent Update - January 31, 2020
FSIS Posts Updated Quarterly Sampling Results
The sampling results for FSIS regulated products has been updated on the agency’s website. Every quarter, 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. Sampling results are available for raw beef, raw pork, raw chicken, raw turkey, processed eggs, and ready-to-eat products.
The sampling results may be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/sampling-project-results/results .
Update to the Equivalence Process Status Chart on FSIS Website
On January 28, 2020, FSIS published the Status Chart for Pending Equivalence Determinations on the FSIS web site. FSIS revised the chart to be more user-friendly and to enhance transparency. This chart identifies countries with pending equivalence determinations and was updated to include the species and product types requested for equivalence. Additionally, FSIS provided a description for each of the types of equivalence requests and clarified the steps throughout the process of making an equivalence determination. These changes will make it easier for stakeholders to identify the status of each pending equivalence determination.
This chart replaces the “Equivalence Status Chart” and can be found on the International Affairs Equivalence page at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/2514b05f-82b2-4c1a-a7f2-fdf4610d4d8e/Equivalence-Status-Chart.pdf?MOD=AJPERES .
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 12-14 business days to evaluate.
TIP: FSIS does not view the addition of a contains allergen statement (e.g., ‘‘contains soy’’) applied to meat or poultry labels as a special statement or claim that requires sketch approval by FSIS. Such statements are generically approved if they are truthful and not misleading.
There are many foods and food ingredients to which some individuals may have some degree of intolerance or possible allergic reaction. Therefore, complete and accurate labeling is critically important. All ingredients in meat and poultry products must be listed on the label in the ingredients statement, ensuring all allergens will be listed on the product label. The 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that products under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that contain a major food allergen clearly identify the allergen on the label (Public Law 108-282, Title II). While a complete list of all ingredients must be clearly listed on the label in the ingredients statement, the supplementary “contains” allergen FALCPA labeling statements are not required on meat and poultry products under FSIS jurisdiction. FSIS supports practices that promote accurate, informative product labeling, including voluntary statements on labels that alert people to the presence of specific ingredients, consistent with FALCPA requirements.
For example, a phrase such as “Contains: milk, wheat, soy” may be added on labeling immediately following the ingredients statement, and FSIS would generically approve that statement. Additionally, FSIS would generically approve further clarification of the source of a specific ingredient in a parenthetical statement in the ingredients statement, e.g., “whey (from milk).” This type of parenthetical statement would likely provide consumers with a more recognizable term. As stated in the “Prior Label Approval System: Generic Label Approval Final Rule” (78 FR 66826; Nov. 7, 2013), such statements may be added to a label generically because they are not considered a special statement or claim.
For additional information about allergen control and labeling please see the following FSIS guideline “Allergens and Ingredients of Public Health Concern: Identification, Prevention and Control, and Declaration through Labeling” at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/labeling/ingredients-guidance/allergens-voluntary-labeling-statements .
For additional information on other factual statements and claims which may be applied generically to a label see Appendix 2 in the “FSIS Compliance Guideline for Label Approval” at 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.
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following countries:
- China, People’s Republic of
- Korea, Republic of
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products