Constituent Update - September 25, 2020
FSIS Updates Guidance for Imports into the U.S.
FSIS has updated its guidance for importing meat, poultry and processed egg products into the U.S. The revised guidance contains updates to industry supply chain best practices, clarifies FSIS’ approach to applying different levels of re-inspection to imported product, and adds information about generic labeling approvals, food defense, slaughter dates on import certification, and barcoding.
In July 2017, FSIS published and requested comment on the guidance and the agency revised the guidance based on comments received from one trade association and two non-profit consumer groups.
The guidance will continue to help U.S. importers, customs brokers, official import inspection establishments, and other interested persons understand and comply with FSIS import requirements. FSIS recommends that importers begin using and complying with the updated guidance now.
The guidance is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/24/2020-21061/availability-of-fsis-import-guidance .
FSIS Announces Program Leadership Change
Robert Bane has been selected to serve as Assistant Administrator (AA) of FSIS’ Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audit (OIEA). Most recently, Robert was an Executive Associate for Regulatory Operations (EARO), a position he started in May 2020. He joined FSIS in 1997 as a food inspector. He has held a number of positions in the field throughout his 23-year career, including Consumer Safety Inspector, Compliance Investigator, Deputy District Manager and District Manager. Robert attended Arkansas Tech University where he studied business administration and Spanish.
FSIS to Post Weekly Updates to MPI Directory
Beginning in October, FSIS will post weekly updates to the Meat, Poultry, and Egg Inspection (MPI) Directory. FSIS currently posts monthly updates to establishment location and inspection activity information in the directory in multiple formats including a webpage list, downloadable Excel files, and through the MPI Directory App.
FSIS will continue updating the Establishment Directory & Production Dashboard on a monthly basis. This data visualization enhances customer service experience by allowing individuals to search by location (i.e., region, state, individual establishment), production information (i.e., meat slaughter, poultry slaughter, processing activity) or by geographical areas on a map to quickly find establishments in their area, across city or state boundaries.
FSIS also posts the aggregate production information for each establishment to indicate the species slaughtered over the previous year, production processes, and Siluriformes and egg products production in the Establishment-Specific Datasets.
FSIS Expands PFAS Testing Capability to Additional Slaughter Classes
The FSIS Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook method titled “Screening, Determination, and Confirmation of PFAS by UPLC-MS-MS” has been expanded to include swine, poultry, and Siluriformes fish muscle in addition to the currently approved cattle muscle and plasma. The method analyzes samples for 16 different per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The method has been performed throughout fiscal year 2020 to gather data on in-plant KIS-Test positive samples of cattle muscle as described in a previous Constituent Update published on August 30, 2019.
Certain swine, poultry, and Siluriformes fish muscle samples received on or after October 1, 2020 as part of the existing National Residue Program may also be analyzed for PFAS using this method. Further details about an exploratory project for this additional analysis will be available in the FY2021 Annual Sampling Plan.
The updated method can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/science/laboratories-and-procedures/guidebooks-and-methods/chemistry-laboratory-guidebook. Please direct questions regarding specific elements of the updated method to AskFSIS.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
The labels are currently taking about 5-7 business days to evaluate.
TIP: Establishments will find the reason(s) for a returned label application in the Summary section of the Label Submission and Approval System (LSAS).
FSIS most commonly returns label applications because the label requires changes for compliance with agency regulations, the information is incomplete, or the agency needs additional clarification on the request to evaluate the label. Establishments submitting label applications through LSAS will find returned applications in the “Returns and Rescinded Applications” pool in LSAS. After selecting the returned application, establishments may select “Summary” from the “Available Actions” pull down menu on the “Manage Application” screen to view the reasons FSIS returned the application. The specific reasons for the returned submission are located in the “Label Application Comment” field located at the bottom of the “Summary.”
Paper label applications that are received by courier or mail are electronically scanned into LSAS prior to review. FSIS will evaluate all paper applications through LSAS and, if returning an application, note the reasons for return in the “Summary” section. When FSIS mails a returned paper application back to the submitter, the agency always includes a printed copy of the LSAS “Summary” section as part of the returned application. Establishments that submit paper applications will find the reasons for return noted in the “Label Application Comment” field on the paper copy of the “Summary.”
For additional information about returned label applications, please see the “View and Download Adjudicated Applications” section in the LSAS user guide beginning on page 136 at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/45a29f18-52cc-4012-8790-ab7ea9f980c9/LSAS-Industry-User-Guide-090619.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.
FSIS will continue to provide updates regarding label turnaround time, as well as suggestions to assist industry to streamline label submissions in its Constituent Update.
Reminder: Upcoming FSIS Public Meeting
FSIS is hosting the below public meeting in the coming weeks.
- Food Safety: Consumer Outreach and Education Today and for the Future (October 6, 2020)
Additional information on the upcoming meeting and details on how to register can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/meetings.
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 updates were recently issued:
Notice 46-20 - List of Electronic Communications Operations Persons
Notice 47-20 - Fiscal Year 2021 Pay Periods and Official Payday Dates
Notice 48-20 - Time and Attendance Reporting Procedures for Pay Period 20 2020
Directive 6900.2 Revision 3 - Humane Handling and Slaughter of Livestock
Docket No. FSIS-2020-0016 - Availability of FSIS Import Guidance
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for the following countries:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
Complete information can be found at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products