Constituent Update - July 15, 2022
FSIS Article on Salmonella Outbreaks Published in Epidemiology & Infection
FSIS has published an article titled “Temporal Changes in the Proportion of Salmonella Outbreaks Associated with Twelve Broad Commodity Classes in the United States” in the peer-reviewed journal Epidemiology & Infection.
The article examines changes in the proportion of foodborne Salmonella outbreaks attributed to 12 commodity groups between 1998 and 2017. Using a trend model, significant changes were observed for three commodities: eggs, pork, and seeded vegetables. A significantly increasing trend was observed for pork. Between 1998 and 2017, the estimated proportion of Salmonella outbreaks attributable to pork increased from 4 percent to 18 percent.
The results of this work, in addition to public comments on the proposed performance standards for Salmonella on pork products, will be used to inform FSIS policy development targeted to reduce Salmonella illnesses attributable to pork.
Reminder: Graduate Food Safety Fellowship Application Open
As announced in the June 10, 2022, Constituent Update, USDA’s Office of Food Safety (OFS) is continuing its Food Safety Fellowship program in partnership with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). The application period closes on August 30, 2022. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The anticipated appointment start date is November 7, 2022. Please view the application portal for more information and to apply.
FSIS to Post Individual Category Status and Aggregate Results for Poultry Carcasses, Chicken Parts, and Comminuted Poultry Tested for Salmonella
On July 20, 2022, FSIS will update the individual establishment Salmonella performance standard category information for raw poultry carcasses, raw chicken parts, and comminuted poultry products on the Salmonella Verification Testing Program Monthly Posting page on the FSIS website. Additionally, FSIS will post the aggregate sampling results showing the number of establishments in categories 1, 2, or 3 for establishments producing young poultry carcasses, raw chicken parts, or not ready-to-eat (NRTE) comminuted poultry products at the location linked above.
FSIS to Post Updated Datasets on Import Refusals
Today, FSIS will update the publicly posted dataset on import refusals for products that the agency regulates. Federal law requires every commercial shipment of imported meat, poultry, and egg products to be reinspected prior to product entering U.S. commerce. FSIS reinspects each shipment to verify labeling, proper certification, general condition, and to identify any signs of tampering or product adulterated by transportation damage. FSIS also performs additional activities on a random and/or for-cause basis, such as physical product examination and laboratory sampling for pathogens and chemical residues.
Any product that does not meet FSIS requirements is refused entry, and the importer has up to 45 days (30 days for egg products) to have the product destroyed for use as human food, re-exported/returned to the foreign country, converted to animal food, or brought into compliance with FSIS requirements, if applicable (e.g., relabeled, remarked, or issued a replacement certificate).
The current Import Refusals dataset is updated around the 15th of each month and the archived dataset is updated around the 15th of the first month of each quarter. The datasets contain each shipment with product that was refused entry. To access these datasets or view more information about them, please visit the Import and Export Data page.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 3-5 business days to evaluate.
TIP: Establishments may use generic label approval to voluntarily include sesame in a “contains” statement on product labels.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) requires that the label of a food under FDA jurisdiction that contains an ingredient that is, or comprises a protein from, a major food allergen declare the presence of the allergen in a “contains” statement. The “big eight” major food allergens under FALCPA are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2021 declares sesame as the ninth major food allergen and, effective January 1, 2023, will require FDA-regulated products declare the presence of the allergen in a “contains” label statement.
Although these acts do not apply to FSIS-regulated products, the voluntary use of allergen “contains” statements is permitted on meat, poultry, and egg products, and may be added through generic label approval. Thus, the addition of sesame to a “contains” statement would not require that the label be submitted to FSIS for sketch approval. Although the FASTER Act will be effective January 1, 2023, for FDA-regulated products, FSIS will permit the voluntary inclusion of sesame and sesame derived components in “contains” statements prior to the January 1, 2023, effective date.
Information about sesame allergen labeling can also be found in the recently posted askFSIS Q&A, Sesame allergen labeling on FSIS regulated products.
FSIS will continue to provide updates regarding label turnaround time and suggestions 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 updates were recently issued:
FSIS Notice 39-22 - FSIS Sampling of Fowl Slaughtered under the New Poultry Inspection System(NPIS) as Authorized by Waiver
FSIS Notice 40-22 - Parental Bereavement Leave
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following:
- St. Lucia
- European Union
- Costa Rica
- Turks & Caicos Islands
- El Salvador
- United Kingdom
Complete information can be found at the FSIS Import & Export Library.