Constituent Update - May 6, 2022
FSIS Responds to Questions on Cooperative Agreement Announcement for Salmonella Risk Assessments
As announced in the April 15, 2022, Constituent Update, FSIS has posted responses to frequently asked questions on the cooperative agreement announcement for two Salmonella risk assessments - one for Salmonella in chicken and another for Salmonella in turkey. FSIS will accept proposals to collaborate on the risk assessments through Monday, May 16, 2022. More information about the opportunity can be found on Grants.gov.
Save the Date: FSIS to Host Webinars on Revised Appendices A & B
On May 23 and May 24, 2022, FSIS will host webinars to provide an overview of the recently revised 2021 Cooking Guideline for Meat and Poultry Products (Revised Appendix A) and 2021 Stabilization Guideline for Meat and Poultry Products (Revised Appendix B). The webinars will also provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions.
The May 23 webinar will be held from 1-3 p.m. ET. The May 24 webinar will be held from 9-11 a.m. ET.
FSIS announced the availability of the revisions of its cooking (lethality) and stabilization (cooling and hot-holding) guidance, referred to as Appendices A & B, in the December 14, 2021, Federal Register. Establishments that used previous versions of Appendix A as support have until December 14, 2022, to either update to the 2021 guidelines or identify alternative support.
Pre-registration for the webinars is not required. Recordings of both webinars, along with presentation slides, will be posted on the FSIS website for those unable to attend. FSIS will share more information on how to access the webinars in a future Constituent Update.
FSIS Releases Revised SRT for Foreign Equivalence Process
FSIS has released a revised Self-Reporting Tool (SRT), SRT v2022-001. The revised SRT reflects changes in FSIS’ regulations for swine and egg products since the previous version was released in 2019.
The SRT is a questionnaire system FSIS uses to obtain information from foreign countries seeking to demonstrate that their food safety inspection systems achieve a level of public health protection equivalent to the U.S. inspection system.
The SRT v2022-001 can be found on the "Equivalence" page of the FSIS website under "Additional Resources". FSIS is also working to revise the FSIS Responses to the SRT (v2019-001) to align with the SRT v2022-001 revisions.
Dominican Republic Eligible to Export Raw Intact Beef Products to the U.S.
FSIS reinstated, as of April 29, 2022, the Dominican Republic’s eligibility to export to the U.S. raw intact beef product derived from cattle slaughtered in certified establishments in the country. FSIS reviewed the Dominican Republic’s documented food safety inspection program for raw intact beef and conducted an onsite verification audit of its beef slaughter and further raw processing from September 13-23, 2021. FSIS concluded that the Dominican Republic’s raw beef product inspection system is equivalent to that of the United States’ inspection system. For more information, please view the 2021 audit report.
FSIS to Expand Establishment-Specific Datasets
FSIS is preparing to expand the establishment-specific datasets on laboratory sampling results to include the FSIS Number - a whole genome sequence (WGS) identifier assigned for pathogens - and allele codes with date stamps for Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli). FSIS intends to begin publishing these datasets in July 2022.
This action enhances data transparency and access to agency-generated information. For example, the FSIS number allows users to associate a particular FSIS sampling result to a particular WGS profile found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s publicly available database. Users should be aware that the data on tested product are not sufficient to determine an association with human illness. Further epidemiologic information is needed to determine if there is an association among the non-clinical isolates and human illnesses.
Prior to publishing the expanded datasets, FSIS is seeking comments on a sample dataset and data documentation. The sample dataset and data documentation are available for public comment until June 17, 2022.
To comment, visit Regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FSIS-2014-0032. Establishment-specific datasets were first released in 2016 as announced in the July 14, 2016, Federal Register. Additional details can be found in the FSIS Establishment-specific data release strategic plan.
Additionally, FSIS is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop methods that will yield the appropriate allele codes with date stamps for Campylobacter. Once the interagency effort has concluded, FSIS will expand the establishment-specific datasets on laboratory sampling to include these data and release a sample dataset and data documentation for public comment. More information will be shared in a future Constituent Update.
FSIS to Update Animal Drug Residue Screening Method
FSIS plans to update the method CLG-MRM3, "Screening and Confirmation of Animal Drug Residues by UHPLC-MS-MS" in the Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook. Under the updated method, FSIS expects to report testing results up to one day sooner.
Effective June 1, 2022, the updated method will use a universal quality control tissue to shorten instrument run time while maintaining method performance. FSIS field service laboratories validated that no difference exists between using universal control tissue versus species matched control tissues. Using pork as the universal control tissue will allow all national residue program muscle samples to be analyzed with a single tissue type and, therefore, reduce the number of daily quality control samples from 48 to 8, which will save 10 hours of instrument run time. In addition, FSIS adjusted the minimum level of applicability - the lowest level at which a method has been successfully validated for a residue - for 20 of the 108 screened compounds to better align with federal tolerances set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
The updated method will be available on the FSIS Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook website on June 1, 2022.
Reminder: Resources to Expand Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity
Please view the April 15, 2022, Constituent Update, for information on the grants and other support USDA is making available to expand meat and poultry processing options, strengthen the food supply chain, and create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. All recent actions taken to support the American food supply chain are posted to the Department’s website.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 3-5 business days to evaluate.
TIP: Label applications must always include a complete label bearing ALL required label features.
Establishments must include a complete label (including all required label features) in submissions for a new logo, graphic, or claim. Applications that do not include a complete label will be returned to the submitter to provide that information. In addition, label applications must include the product formula, processing procedures, and supporting documentation for any special statement or claim on the label (including logos and graphics). If the establishment is submitting a label that includes previously approved claims, the application should also include a copy of the prior label approval, including the label and any documentation used to support the prior approved claims.
Establishments may use askFSIS to request feedback about a new logo, graphic, or claim, including whether it can be added to a label generically. If FSIS determines that the logo, graphic, or claim includes a special statement or claim (e.g., a breed claim or natural claim) then the establishment should submit a label application through the Label Submission and Approval System (LSAS), including a copy of a complete label, for sketch approval.
For additional examples of special statements and claims please refer to the FSIS Compliance Guidance for Label Approval. For a review of required label features, please see the "Label Sketch" tab on the Label Submission Checklist.
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following:
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
- New Caledonia
- European Union
- St. Lucia
- Turks & Caicos Islands
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- Dominican Republic
- Solomon Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- Western Samoa (Samoa)
- French Polynesia (Tahiti)
- Hong Kong
- El Salvador
Complete information can be found at the FSIS Import & Export Library.