Constituent Update - July 23, 2021
Registration Open for USDA Sessions on Racial Justice and Equity
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is requesting input from the public on how it can advance racial justice and equity for underserved communities as part of its implementation of Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.
Registration is open to reserve a time to speak at one of four listening sessions to be held on July 28, 2021 and July 29, 2021. Speaking time slots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each speaker will have 5 minutes to make remarks. A list of the speaking order will be sent to participants in advance.
USDA’s Racial Equity Commission will use this information to address systemic inequities and increase participation in USDA programs, services, committees, and decision-making processes.
Please use the following links to register to speak:
- July 28: 10am-1pm, 1pm-4pm, 4pm-7pm Eastern https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_yGVAn5vNQ-iTEepJVU6FGA
- July 29: 7-9pm Eastern
USDA has highlighted the following three guiding questions for the listening sessions. A full list of guiding questions can be found in the Federal Register notice.
- If you have interacted with any agency at USDA, please describe that experience.
- How can USDA remove or reduce barriers that underserved communities and individuals face?
- What can USDA do to actively increase participation and engagement with underserved communities?
If you are unable to participate in the listening sessions, USDA encourages you to submit comments in the follow ways:
- Review the Federal Register notice and submit comments here by typing directly into the comment section or attaching your comments as a document (no longer than 20 pages).
- Send an email with your comments to EquityRFI@usda.gov.
Please note that comments must be submitted by August 14, 2021.
FSIS Releases New HACCP Model
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has updated and released its generic Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) model for beef slaughter. This update replaces the 1996 version of the model. The slaughter process has inherent food safety hazards that originate with the live animal. Therefore, the slaughter process has heightened food safety significance. Although this is a beef slaughter model, the model may be used as a starting point for developing a slaughter HACCP plan for other classes of livestock.
As announced previously in the October 2, 2020 Constituent Update, FSIS updated its HACCP guide and multiple generic HACCP models. The agency has also developed a new Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOP) guide. The guides and the models are intended to assist establishments in meeting regulatory requirements to produce safe and wholesome products.
The updated guides and models reflect changes in FSIS policy and lessons learned about implementing HACCP since its inception. The materials include updated scientific references and footnotes containing explanatory guidance and links to related sources of information. Consistent with the previous models, each model includes a product description, ingredients list, production flow diagram, hazard analysis and HACCP plan.
The revised Guideline for the Preparation of HACCP Plans leads an establishment through the process of developing a HACCP plan according to seven principles and provides links to additional reference materials. Templates are provided in the guide so the establishment can capture the product-specific information as demonstrated in the guide.
The models are examples and are intended to provide clarity regarding regulatory requirements. Additional models will be posted as they are revised.
The generic HACCP model for beef slaughter is available here.
FSIS to Host Virtual Open House at Midwestern and Western Labs
FSIS will host a joint virtual open house at the Midwestern and Western Laboratories on August 2, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET. Topics have been specifically chosen based on recent feedback and frequent questions received by the FSIS laboratories.
Participants will learn:
- How FSIS labs made improvements and efforts to avoid discarding samples
- How FSIS labs recently modernized Campylobacter screening tests to build efficiency into the method
- How FSIS revised the E. coli (STEC) definition
- How FSIS labs shortened the time-to-confirmation of bacterial pathogens using a MALDI-TOF proteomics approach
- About recent updates to the PFAS Chemistry Method
Participants must pre-register and fill out a short registration form. Participants will receive an e-mail containing a hyperlink to the event.
FSIS to Post Updated Quarterly Sampling Results
On July 30, 2021, the sampling results for FSIS regulated products will be updated on the FSIS website. 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. Sampling results are available for raw beef, raw pork, raw chicken, raw turkey, processed eggs, and ready-to-eat products.
The sampling results will be available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/science-data/sampling-program/sampling-results-fsis-regulated-products.
FSIS to Post Quarterly Sampling Reports for Salmonella Serotype and PFGE Information
On July 30, 2021, FSIS will post quarterly Salmonella serotype and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) data for Salmonella isolates collected from FSIS product categories.
This posting includes serotype data through the first and second quarters of fiscal year(FY) 2021 and is available on the Quarterly Sampling Reports on Salmonella web page. This posting also includes PFGE and serotype sampling data for pork projects from the first quarter of FY2016. The next report update will be in October 2021 for serotype data. All PFGE information has been posted and, therefore, those reports will no longer be refreshed.
In coordination with public health partners, FSIS transitioned to Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) and discontinued the use of PFGE for Salmonella, STEC and Campylobacter in 2019. Salmonella serotyping is a method for grouping different types of Salmonella based on the bacterium’s surface structures. Previously, FSIS used a molecular serotyping assay to provide serotype. On January 1, 2020, FSIS updated its method to using WGS to provide Salmonella serotype.
Comparing one quarter to another, or even one year to another, would be insufficient to draw meaningful conclusions. For this reason, aggregate information in these tables should be considered descriptive.
FSIS to Post Updated Quarterly Sampling Reports on Antimicrobial Resistance Profile
On July 30, 2021, the quarterly antimicrobial resistance data for FSIS product categories will be updated on the FSIS website. FSIS will also post antimicrobial resistance data for cecal samples.
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 E. coli O157:H7, isolate counts and resistance profile by FSIS product and cecal categories.
Additionally, the release includes antimicrobial resistance data from the first quarter of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 through the second quarter of FY2021 and is available on the Microbiology web page under Antimicrobial Resistance. The next report update will be available around October 2021.
Antimicrobial resistance is an extremely complex pathogen characteristic. Comparisons between one quarter and another, or even one year and another, would be insufficient to draw meaningful conclusions. For this reason, aggregate information in these tables should be considered descriptive.
NARMS is an interagency, collaborative partnership with state and local public health departments, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This surveillance system tracks changes in antimicrobial susceptibility of select foodborne enteric bacteria found in ill people (CDC), retail meats (FDA), and food animals (USDA). The NARMS program at USDA FSIS focuses on two sampling points—samples collected from food products, and intestinal (cecal) content samples. The NARMS data helps to assess the nature and magnitude of antibiotic resistance in bacteria recovered at different points along the farm-to-fork continuum.
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following:
- Western Samoa (Samoa)
- New Caledonia
Complete information can be found at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/inspection/import-export/import-export-library.
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/policy/directives-notices. The following policy updates were recently issued:
FSIS Notice 27-21 - Reduction in Overtime and Holiday Inspection Fees for Small and Very Small Establishments
FSIS Notice 28-21 - Verification of Establishment Processes for Collecting Livestock Blood for Human Food