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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Constituent Update - October 3, 2014

Nationwide Survey on Beef and Veal Carcass Baseline

FSIS has launched the Nationwide Beef and Veal Carcass Baseline Survey (B-VCBS) to collect data for future risk assessments and to develop regulatory policy options. The 12-month survey, which began on Aug. 1, 2014, is being conducted in establishments slaughtering beef and/or veal carcasses. During this survey, FSIS field employees are collecting samples from steer, heifer, cow, bull, dairy cow and veal carcasses at two points along the slaughter line—immediately after hide removal (pre-evisceration) and at pre-chill (after all anti-microbial interventions). Veal samples are being collected from heavy calves and Bob veal, as well as non-formula fed and formula fed veal. FSIS anticipates scheduling approximately 3,000 samples, i.e., 1,500 paired samples taken from the same carcass at two points.

FSIS is collecting data on select foodborne bacterial pathogens, including presence and levels of Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC), as well as levels of indicator bacteria, including total bacteria (aerobic plate count or APC), generic E. coli, coliforms, and Enterobacteriaceae. FSIS will use APC, generic E. coli, coliforms, and Enterobacteriaceae data to evaluate process control during the slaughter process.

To prepare for the survey, FSIS conducted the training period (shakedown phase) from January through March 2014. During this phase, FSIS prepared its personnel for the study, refined the list of beef and veal carcass slaughter plants included in the study, and identified necessary modifications to the survey and analytical methods. FSIS received no comments from stakeholders on the study design and sampling plan via Regulations.gov but the agency did make minor adjustments to the sampling plan and frame. Details can be found in an addendum to the study design at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/c7befdf9-f0d3-4455-bde0-150bd8b838ce/BVCBS-Design-Addendum.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.  Preliminary findings from the shakedown phase of the survey is below.

Foodborne Bacterial Pathogen Percent Positives by Sampling Location

Pathogenic Organism Pre-evisceration Percent Positive Pre-chill Percent Positive
Salmonella 19.42% 3.22%
E. coli O157:H7 0.97% 0.00%
Non-O157 STEC 8.06% 3.22%


Indicator Bacteria Levels by Sampling Location                                                       

Indicator Organism Pre-evisceration Pre-chill
APC log10 = 4.25 log10 = 2.30
Coliform log10 = 1.44 log10 = 1.04
Generic E. coli log10 = 1.14 log10 = 0.77
Enterobacteriaceae log10 = 1.61 log10 = 1.00


Microbiological Shakedown Findings: Comparison Between Beef and Veal Samples

• Dairy cows had a higher incidence of Salmonella at pre-evisceration compared to the other beef subclasses and veal;

• Veal had a higher incidence of Salmonella at pre-chill when compared to beef;

• Veal had a higher incidence of non-O157 STEC at both sampling locations when compared to beef;

• Veal had a higher generic E. coli at pre-chill when compared to beef subclasses; and

• Beef had a higher APC at pre-evisceration compared to veal samples.

Note: These findings are from the shakedown phase of the survey and do not represent the final results. Official results will be released in the final report after the actual 12-month survey has concluded.

The FSIS Notice for the 12-month survey is at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/5d3552e7-9b81-4b2c-aa20-cfaeef77f251/36-14.pdf?MOD=AJPERES. Other Baseline Data from previous surveys can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/baseline/baseline. Questions regarding the survey should be submitted through AskFSIS.

Customer Account Statement for Reimbursable Services

In June 2014, FSIS experienced billing issues with the Federal accounting system, which delayed some of the agency’s bills. The problem has been corrected, so the September and October statements will be larger than normal as FSIS catches up on the outstanding billing documents. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

If you have any questions or need assistance, please call 515-334-2000, then option 1, or email fsis.billing@fsis.usda.gov.  

Export Requirement Updates

The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following countries:

  • Belarus
  • Colombia
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Russia
  • Singapore

Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products

FSIS Policy Updates

FSIS issues notices and directives to protect public health. All notices and directives are available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations. The following policy updates were recently issued:

  • Notice 47-14, FSIS Standardized Evaluation Model for Non-Bargaining Unit Employees
  • Notice 48-14, Pathology Sample Reports Delivered Only Electronically
  • Notice 49-14, Cancelling FSIS Notice 46-14, Performance Awards

Get Answers at AskFSIS

AskFSIS is a web-based technology and policy question-and-answer forum on topics such as exporting, labeling, inspection, programs and procedures.

In addition, AskFSIS offers Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that link back to the Q&As. Visit http://askfsis.custhelp.com/ to view recently posted topics.