Constituent Update - July 16, 2021
USDA Finalized Rule on the Inspection of Yak and Other Bovidae, Cervidae, and Camelidae Species
On July 15, 2021, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) amended its regulations to define yak and include it among “exotic animals” eligible for voluntary inspection.
The final rule will benefit small and very small establishments through continued access to the FSIS voluntary mark of inspection as well as through maintaining consumer trust in the product among buyers who look for that mark of inspection when making purchasing decisions.
Additionally, in response to public comment received on the proposed rule, the final rule revises the definitions of antelope, bison, buffalo, catalo, deer, elk, reindeer, and water buffalo to make them more taxonomically accurate.
To view the final rule, please visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/07/15/2021-15062/inspection-of-yak-and-other-bovidae-cervidae-and-camelidae-species.
FSIS Announces Revised Guidelines for Minimizing the Risk of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Beef Slaughter and Processing Operations
FSIS is announcing the availability of two revised guidelines for minimizing the risk of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in beef (including veal) slaughter and processing operations. The Agency has revised the content of the guidelines following review and consideration of all comments made during the public comment period.
The updated guidelines will be available on July 19, 2021. They are titled:
- Industry Guideline for Minimizing the Risk of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Beef (including Veal) Slaughter Operations
- Industry Guideline for Minimizing the Risk of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Raw Beef (including Veal) Processing Operations
These guidelines advise small and very small establishments on the best practices for beef slaughter and processing establishments to address STEC. In response to comments, FSIS made several clarifications in the guidelines. For example, FSIS removed the word “compliance” from the titles of the guidelines to clarify that the guidelines are recommendations and do not create any new regulatory requirements. FSIS also removed best practices recommendations that would not be practical for small and very small establishments.
FSIS is always improving and adapting our guidelines related to food safety and ensure that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled. FSIS will continue to update these documents, as necessary, in order to ensure that small and very small establishments have access to a full range of scientific and technical support, and the resources needed to establish safe and effective Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems.
FSIS To Post FY2022 Public Health Regulations (PHRs)
FSIS annually updates and publishes its Public Health Regulations (PHRs). FSIS uses a number of decision criteria described in Directive 5100.4 to prioritize establishments for Public Health Risk Evaluations (PHREs), including PHR noncompliance. FSIS has analyzed the most current data and has developed the FY22 list of PHRs, including the thresholds used to prioritize establishments for PHREs and to alert inspection personnel of elevated PHR noncompliance levels. FSIS will post on its website the FY2022 PHR list and the corresponding thresholds on July 16, 2021, and these PHRs will go into effect on October 1, 2021. More detailed information about PHRs as well as archived PHRs by Fiscal Year are available at FSIS Public Health Regulations.
FSIS to Post Individual Category Status and Aggregate Results for Poultry Carcasses, Chicken Parts, and Comminuted Poultry Tested for Salmonella
On July 20, 2021, 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. 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 the location linked above.
FSIS Updates its Bacterial Confirmation Methods
FSIS has updated the technology it will use to confirm the identity of presumptive positive bacterial pathogens and indicator organisms in regulated products. These updates will initially lead to reduced results reporting times of up to one to two days. The FSIS laboratory system has decided to use the Bruker MALDI Biotyper®, a commercially available mass spectrometry-based bioanalyzer system, to perform bacterial isolate identification to confirm positive results. Currently, FSIS laboratory microbiological testing is a 5-7day process that includes initial sample enrichment, screening, and confirmation steps. This new platform modernizes the FSIS laboratory’s sometimes time-consuming biochemical confirmation steps by instead identifying an organism’s unique protein profile and can rapidly identify presumptive pathogens isolated by the FSIS laboratories. The Agency anticipates reducing reporting times for a confirmed positive Salmonella result by up to two business days, and by one business day for confirmed positive STEC and Listeria monocytogenes results. FSIS laboratories are currently moving towards full laboratory implementation and will continue to investigate additional uses of this technology by the laboratory system. FSIS has updated the Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG) methods for the isolation and identification of Salmonella species (MLG 4.11), Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC, MLG 5C.02), Listeria monocytogenes (MLG 8.12), and Campylobacter species (MLG 41.06). The updated MLG Chapters will be available on the FSIS MLG website, and FSIS will begin using the updated confirmation technology on samples received on or after August 16, 2021.
FSIS Proposed Rule on Uniform Time Period Requirement for Agency Appeals
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to amend its regulations to establish a uniform time period for the filing of appeals of certain agency inspection decisions or actions. Under the proposed rule, FSIS would require that persons wishing to appeal agency decisions or actions related to inspection activities, file an appeal within 30 calendar days after receiving notification of the contested inspection decision or action. This proposed change will streamline the appeals process by establishing a uniform time period for filing appeals of relevant agency decisions or actions.
In addition, FSIS would also clarify and simplify inspection appeals procedures generally, such as who may file an appeal, where to file an appeal, and what information may be submitted with the appeal.
FSIS will accept comments on this proposed rule on or before September 13, 2021. To view the proposed rule and obtain more information on how to comment or submit information, please visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/07/15/2021-14947/establishing-a-uniform-time-period-requirement-and-clarifying-related-procedures-for-the-filing-of.
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following:
- Hong Kong
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
Complete information can be found at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/inspection/import-export/import-export-library