Constituent Update - November 18, 2022
Note: FSIS will not be publishing a Constituent Update next week. The next Constituent Update is scheduled to publish on December 2, 2022. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Remember to Stay Food Safe This Thanksgiving Holiday
As we get closer to the big day, FSIS wants to remind you that we’re here with everything you need to give your family a food safe Thanksgiving.
How do you safely thaw a turkey? To what temperature should you cook your turkey? How long will Thanksgiving leftovers last? FSIS has the answer to these questions and more.
The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. ET. Consumers with questions can call 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), chat live at https://ask.usda.gov/s/, or email to MPHotline@usda.gov. Services are available in English and Spanish. Leading up to the holiday, customer service representatives on the hotline will be available during regular hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. To keep you and your family food safe through the holidays, follow FSIS on Twitter for more Thanksgiving tips.
FSIS to Expand STEC Testing to Additional Raw Beef Products
FSIS will soon expand its routine verification testing for Escherichia coli (E. coli) to additional raw beef products to help protect public health. Beginning February 1, 2023, FSIS will expand its routine verification testing for six Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) that are adulterants (non-O157 STEC; O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, or O145), in addition to the adulterant E. coli O157:H7 in samples of raw ground beef, bench trim, and other raw ground beef components collected at official establishments. FSIS will also begin testing for these non-O157 STEC in ground beef samples collected at retail stores and in applicable samples of imported raw beef products.
Currently, the only raw beef products routinely tested for all seven targeted STEC serotypes are beef manufacturing trimmings, while all other raw beef products are presently only tested for E. coli O157:H7. This notice follows the June 4, 2020, Federal Register notice, in which FSIS announced and requested comments on its plans to expand routine verification testing for STEC in raw beef products.
FSIS to Replace N60 Sampling with Cloth Sampling Method to Sample Trim
Beginning February 1, 2023, FSIS intends to stop using the N60 excision sampling method to sample domestic beef manufacturing trimmings and bench trim for adulterant Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella. FSIS intends to replace the N60 excision sampling method with a non-destructive surface sampling method that uses a cloth to conduct sampling.
Available data show that the cloth sampling method is as effective as the N60 excision sampling method at recovering organisms in beef manufacturing trimmings. The cloth sampling method is also faster and safer for FSIS field personnel to use because it does not require employees to use hooks or knives to collect samples. Moreover, the cloth sampling method allows FSIS to sample without destroying product, which reduces food waste.
FSIS is requesting comments on this method change. Interested persons must submit comments on this notice by January 23, 2023. FSIS will implement the cloth sampling on February 1, 2023, unless the agency receives substantive comments that warrant further review. Please view the Federal Register notice for more details and instructions on how to submit comments.
FSIS Releases Blog for World Antimicrobial Awareness Week
This year’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week falls on November 18-24. As a National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) partner, FSIS has released a blog highlighting different aspects of the agency’s work on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) monitoring and its importance in food safety and public health.
The blog provides an overview of FSIS’ AMR data sharing, and how to view this data on the FSIS website. While NARMS annually publishes findings, the publications tend to be on a two-to-three-year lag due to the complexity of the information summarized as well as time needed for interagency reviews.
NARMS is a national public health surveillance system through which FSIS partners with state and local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to track changes in antimicrobial susceptibility of select foodborne bacteria found in ill people (CDC), retail meats (FDA), and food animals (FSIS).
Reminder: FSIS Extended Comment Period on Proposed Salmonella Framework
As announced in the October 28, 2022, Constituent Update, FSIS extended the written comment period on the proposed Salmonella framework to December 16, 2022. Written comments should be submitted through Regulations.gov. Visit the FSIS website to view the Federal Register notice and details on how to comment.
Reminder: Deadline Extended to Comment on NACMCF Document
As announced in the November 10, 2022, Constituent Update, FSIS extended the deadline to submit comments on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) report, “Enhancing Salmonella Control in Poultry Products.” The deadline to submit written comments on this document is December 30, 2022.
The report provides detailed responses with nine recommendations addressing the risk management questions posed to the committee by FSIS. Instructions on how to comment are available in the Federal Register notice. The NACMCF public meeting took place on November 15, 2022. The meeting agenda and the report are available on the FSIS events page, along with the recording and transcript. More information on the NACMCF charges is also available on the FSIS website.
FSIS Announces FY2023 Annual Sampling Plan
FSIS has posted on its website its FY2023 Annual Sampling Program Plan. Sampling of product for microbiological contaminants or chemical residues is a key FSIS inspection verification activity, and each annual sampling plan identifies all current agency sampling programs. This continues FSIS’ efforts to show the breadth of microbiological and chemical residue sampling data that will be generated to inform the agency’s science-based and data-driven strategic planning efforts.
FSIS to Post Individual Category Status and Aggregate Results for Poultry Carcasses, Chicken Parts, and Comminuted Poultry Tested for Salmonella
On November 21, 2022, 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 November 18: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection
- Until November 22: Notice of Request to Renew an Approved Information Collection: Interstate Shipment of Meat and Poultry Products
- Until November 25: Notice of Request for Revision of an Approved Information Collection: In-Home Food Safety Behaviors and Consumer Education: Web-Based Survey
- Until November 28: Notice of Request to Renew an Approved Information Collection: Undenatured Inedible Meat Products
- Until December 16: Proposed Framework for Controlling Salmonella in Poultry
- Until December 27: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Specified Risk Materials
- Until December 27: Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Permit To Obtain Specimens of Condemned or Other Inedible Materials From Official Establishments
- Until December 30: NACMCF Report: Enhancing Salmonella Control in Poultry Products
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for products for the following:
- South Africa
- Hong Kong
- French Polynesia (Tahiti)
- New Zealand
- United Arab Emirates
- Western Samoa (Samoa)
- Solomon Islands
- New Caledonia
Complete information can be found at the FSIS Import & Export Library.