Constituent Update - March 17, 2023
FSIS to Make Temporary Allowances for Use of Sodium Nitrite from Natural Sources
Some establishments under federal inspection may be experiencing supply chain shortages of synthetic sodium nitrite used to cure meat and poultry products. As a result, establishments and other stakeholders have expressed interest in substituting a portion of synthetic sodium nitrite with sodium nitrite derived from natural sources. Establishments interested in using the substitution may submit for temporary label approval under 9 CFR 412.1(f). FSIS will evaluate requests for this substitution on a case-by-case basis under its prior label approval system. Long-term use of natural sources of nitrite as curing agents will be addressed through future rulemaking efforts.
Under the temporary allowance, for example, a portion of synthetic sodium nitrite and sodium erythorbate used to cure a ham product could be substituted with sodium nitrite from a plant-based source (e.g., cultured celery powder). The establishment would substitute synthetic sodium nitrite with the same amount of sodium nitrite from a natural source (e.g., 100 ppm synthetic sodium nitrite, 100 ppm sodium nitrite from cultured celery powder, and 547 ppm sodium erythorbate). The establishment would also be required to maintain records that document the amount and concentration of synthetic nitrite added along with the amount and concentration added from the natural source under 9 CFR 320.1(b)(10) and 381.175(b)(6).
An establishment may submit a “blanket” request for temporary approval if multiple product lines are affected. This type of request covers multiple products instead of having to fill out an application for each product individually. A blanket request for temporary approval should include a completed label application (Form 7234-1), the product formula and processing procedures, and a label for one of the products affected along with a list of other products affected.
Questions may be directed to the FSIS labeling and program delivery staff through askFSIS or by phone at 301-504-0878. More information on labeling and label approval is available on the FSIS website.
Reminder: FSIS is Expanding Generic Label Approval
As announced in the January 20, 2023, Constituent Update, FSIS will expand generic label approval to certain categories of meat, poultry, and egg product labeling products, effective March 20, 2023. The final rule, which published on January 18, 2023, also responds to comments received on the September 2020 proposal.
To date, FSIS has held four webinar sessions to discuss the changes to the categories of labels that will require approval by FSIS, as well as the new categories of labels that will be generically approved once the rule becomes effective. A recording of the webinar for one of the sessions, along with presentation slides, are now available on the FSIS website for those who were unable to attend. FSIS will be posting materials for the prior three sessions in the coming week.
FSIS also plans to host additional webinars on this topic. More information will be shared in a future Constituent Update.
FSIS to Post Individual Category Status and Aggregate Results for Poultry Carcasses, Chicken Parts, and Comminuted Poultry Tested for Salmonella
On March 20, 2023, 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.
Available for Public Comment
FSIS seeks public comments on proposed rules and notices, which are viewable on the FSIS Federal Register & Rulemaking webpage. FSIS is currently seeking comments on the following:
- Until May 1: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Advanced Meat Recovery
- Until May 1: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Voluntary Destruction of Imported Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products
- Until May 1: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Nutrition Labeling of Major Cuts of Single-Ingredient Raw Meat or Poultry Products and Ground or Chopped Meat and Poultry Products
- Until May 1: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Sanitation SOPs and Pathogen Reduction/HACCP
- Until May 8: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Procedures for the Notification of New Technology and Requests for Waivers
- Until May 12: Voluntary Labeling of FSIS-Regulated Products with U.S.-Origin Claims
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available on the FSIS Policy webpage. The following policy update was recently issued:
FSIS Notice 12-23 - Procedures for Work-Related Fatalities, Injury, and Illness Recordkeeping and Annual Reporting Requirements
FSIS Directive 14950.1 - Inspection Program Personnel Responsibilities at Official Import Inspection Establishments That Receive Shipments of Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following:
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
- North Macedonia
- French Polynesia (Tahiti)
- European Union
- Hong Kong
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- New Caledonia
- Solomon Islands
Complete information can be found at the FSIS Import & Export Library.