Constituent Update - March 15, 2019
FSIS Posts Updated 2019 SRT and Equivalence Resources Guidance Documents
FSIS recently revised the self-reporting tool (SRT), the questionnaire the agency uses to help determine whether a foreign country’s food safety system is equivalent to the system in the U.S. The updated 2019 SRT now includes bulleted guidance under each question and has questions for all FSIS-regulated products (meat, poultry, and egg products) to aid foreign countries in providing appropriate responses.
The Equivalence Resources section of the FSIS website contains a link to the recently revised 2019 SRT and links to FSIS guidance documents that provide information to countries on how to submit annual documentation, including certified establishment lists, official government microbiological and chemical residue sampling, testing programs, and test results. The webpage also includes a link to FSIS’ responses to the 2019 SRT; this provides a model for countries to use when providing their own SRT responses and supporting documentation.
To view the 2019 SRT and equivalence resources guidance documents on the FSIS website, please visit: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/Equivalence/equivalence-resources.
FSIS Finalizes Deregulatory Action to Eliminate Carcass Marking Requirement
On March 18, 2019, FSIS will publish in the Federal Register a rule amending the federal meat inspection regulations to repeal the regulatory requirements for livestock carcasses to be ink stamped with the USDA mark of inspection if the carcasses are to be further processed at the same facility. The rule was proposed in July 2018.
This requirement was put into place when it was far more common for slaughter establishments to transport carcasses to other establishments for further processing. Many establishments now both slaughter and process the carcasses so this regulation is no longer necessary. However, the final rule continues to require that inspected and passed carcasses be ink stamped with the official inspection mark if the carcasses are to be shipped to another establishment for further processing or otherwise put into commerce.
FSIS will continue to require establishments to slaughter, handle, and process carcasses in a sanitary manner; thus, no public health concern nor risk is associated with this deregulatory action.
FSIS Posts Updated Dataset on Imports
FSIS has updated the publicly posted dataset on import refusals for products regulated by FSIS. Federal law requires every commercial shipment of imported meat, poultry, and egg products to be inspected prior to product entering U.S. commerce. FSIS inspects each shipment to verify labeling, proper certification, general condition, any signs of tampering and to identify 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, replacement certificate).
This dataset is updated around the 15th of each month and contains each shipment with product that was refused entry. For more information, please visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/data.
FSIS Posts Individual Category Status and Aggregate Results for Poultry Carcasses, Chicken Parts, and Comminuted Poultry Tested for Salmonella
On March 20, 2019, FSIS will update the individual establishment Salmonella performance standard category information for raw poultry carcasses, raw chicken parts and comminuted poultry products at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/salmonella-verification-testing-program/establishment-categories.
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: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/salmonella-verification-testing-program/aggregate-data.
Export Requirements Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following countries:
- New Caledonia
- Western Samoa
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations. The following policy update was recently issued:
- Directive 6100.6 Rev. 1 - Post Mortem Dispositions for Public Health Veterinarians
- Docket No. FSIS-2018-0034 - Availability of FSIS Guideline for Industry Response to Customer Complaints