Constituent Update - May 5, 2023
Guideline for Ready-To-Eat Fermented, Salt-Cured, and Dried Products Now Available; Webinars on Guideline Scheduled
Today, FSIS announced the availability of a guidance document for manufacturing ready-to-eat (RTE), shelf-stable, fermented, salt-cured, and dried meat and poultry products that do not use cooking as the primary lethality step. FSIS is seeking public comment on the guideline until July 5, 2023. The agency will host two webinars—May 15, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. ET, and May 17, 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET—to provide an overview of the guidance and an opportunity for participants to ask questions.
The guideline addresses commonly asked questions concerning the food safety hazards associated with these products and the key steps in each process to ensure safety. Additionally, this guideline replaces and expands upon information previously found in other guidance documents addressing the safe production of RTE fermented meat and poultry products. Although the guideline focuses on the needs of small and very small establishments, all establishments can benefit from this information.
The webinar access information is available on the event pages linked above; registration is not required. Recordings of both webinars, along with presentation slides, will be posted on the FSIS website for those unable to attend.
FSIS seeks public comment on this guideline as part of its efforts to continuously assess and improve the effectiveness of policy documents. FSIS encourages establishments that produce these products to review the guideline. While the guidance document reflects the agency’s current recommendations, the agency may consider changes in response to comments.
Romania Eligible to Export Processed Pork Products to the U.S.
On May 2, 2023, FSIS reinstated Romania’s eligibility to export to the U.S. processed (ready-to-eat and thermally processed/commercially sterile) pork products from certified Romanian establishments. The agency reviewed the country’s documentation of its food safety inspection system and conducted an onsite verification audit from August 31-September 29, 2021. As a result, FSIS determined that Romania’s raw and processed pork product laws, regulations, and food safety inspection system achieve an equivalent level of protection as applied domestically in the U.S. Romania is eligible to use raw source materials from hogs slaughtered in certified establishments in the country. The country must also meet all USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service import requirements in order to export products to the U.S.
FSIS will routinely evaluate and verify the equivalence of Romania’s food safety inspection system for raw and processed pork products through document reviews, verification audits, and point-of-entry reinspection, as is done for all countries exporting to the U.S. For more information, please view the 2021 audit report.
Reminder: Registration Deadline to Attend NACMCF Public Meeting
As announced in the April 28, 2023, Constituent Update, the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will hold a hybrid in-person and virtual public meeting on May 16, 2023, to provide an update on the Cyclospora cayetanensis in produce and Cronobacter spp. in powdered infant formula charges. Those interested in attending must register by May 8, 2023.
During registration, attendees may express interest in delivering comments during the full committee meeting, limited to three minutes per speaker. FSIS will do its best to accommodate all registered persons who request to provide oral comments. View the Federal Register notice for guidance on submitting written comments as well as additional meeting details and timing. FSIS will post the meeting agenda on the FSIS Events & Meetings page in advance of the meeting.
- May 15, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. ET: Webinar on Ready-to-Eat Fermented, Salt-Cured, and Dried Products Guideline
- May 16-18: 2023 NACMCF Public Meeting
- May 17, 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET: Webinar on Ready-to-Eat Fermented, Salt-Cured, and Dried Products Guideline (encore)
- June 21-22, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. ET: 2023 NACMPI Public Meeting
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 8: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Procedures for the Notification of New Technology and Requests for Waivers
- Until June 11: Voluntary Labeling of FSIS-Regulated Products with U.S.-Origin Claims
- Until June 12: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Laboratory Assessment Requests
- Until June 13: Notice of Request To Revise an Approved Information Collection: State Meat and Poultry Inspection Programs
- Until June 13: Notice of Request for Revision of an Approved Information Collection: Public Health Information System
- Until June 23: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection
- Until June 27: Salmonella in Not-Ready-To-Eat Breaded Stuffed Chicken Products
- Until July 5: Availability of FSIS Ready-To-Eat Fermented, Salt-Cured, and Dried Products Guideline
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 19-23 - Availability of FSIS Ready-To-Eat Fermented, Salt-Cured, and Dried Products Guideline
FSIS Notice 20-23 - Eligibility of Romania to Export Processed Pork to the United States
Guideline 2023-0002 - FSIS Ready-to-Eat Fermented, Salt-Cured, and Dried Products Guideline
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following:
- Costa Rica
- Western Samoa (Samoa)
- St. Lucia
- United Arab Emirates
- Turks & Caicos Islands
- Hong Kong
- El Salvador
- New Caledonia
- European Union
Complete information can be found at the FSIS Import & Export Library.