dark overlay
nav button USDA Logo


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 - March 20, 2015

FSIS to Post Notice of Retail Exemptions Adjusted Dollar Limitations for 2015

On March 24, 2015, FSIS will publish a Federal Register notice announcing the per-year dollar limitations on the amount of meat, meat food products, poultry and poultry products that a retail store can sell to hotels, restaurants and similar institutions without disqualifying itself for exemption from Federal inspection requirements. For calendar year 2015, the dollar limitation for meat and meat food products is being increased from $70,400 to $76,900, and for poultry products from $57,100 to $58,200 to reflect price changes for these products, as evidenced by the Consumer Price Index. The notice will be available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/federal-register/federal-register-notices.

Effective Date for Foreign Inspection Certificate Requirements

On Sept. 19, 2014, FSIS published a final rule, “Electronic Import Inspection Application and Certification of Imported Products and Foreign Establishments; Amendments to Facilitate the Public Health Information System (PHIS) and Other Changes to Import Inspection Regulations” (79 FR 56220). 

This final rule amended regulations that require additional information on the foreign inspection certificate. The effective date of the final rule was Nov. 18, 2014. However, to ensure that foreign countries have sufficient time to adjust to the new requirements for certifying the additional product information, FSIS allowed the use of existing inspection certificates until March 18, 2015. FSIS made this information available in the March 12, 2015, Federal Register at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/877380e2-4ffa-49ba-8fe4-06fff19ed97d/2015-0006.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.  

A letter was issued to foreign countries advising them that FSIS would allow them to continue using existing foreign inspection certificates until March 18, 2015. To read this letter, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/3c9c0fa4-fa3c-4ae1-bfb0-0286623009f2/Import-Rule-Letter-to-Foreign-Gov.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.  

FSIS previously announced the March 18, 2015 effective date for foreign inspection certificates in the Oct. 31, 2014 Constituent Update (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings/newsletters/constituent-updates/archive/2014/ConstUpdate103114).  

FSIS Includes Campylobacter Enrichment for NRTE Comminuted Poultry

In 2013, FSIS began testing not ready-to-eat (NRTE) comminuted poultry for Campylobacter using a direct plating method (1 mL test portion). FSIS will now add an enrichment method (30 mL test portion) to the Campylobacter analysis of these poultry products. The Agency is taking this step because the enrichment method can detect a higher percent of positive samples, as determined from the results of an analysis comparing the direct plating method with the enrichment method. Beginning May 1, 2015, FSIS will analyze all NRTE comminuted poultry samples for Campylobacter using the 30 mL enrichment method alongside the 1 mL direct plating method .

The current 1 mL direct plating method identified about 3–4 percent Campylobacter-positive samples for comminuted chicken and 1 percent Campylobacter-positive samples for comminuted turkey. In contrast, the 30 mL enrichment method found about 18 percent of the same samples Campylobacter-positive in comminuted chicken, i.e. about a 5-fold increase in percent positive results between the 30 mL enrichment method and the 1 mL direct plating method for comminuted chicken. Though comminuted turkey was not tested in this methods comparison, FSIS expects there would also be an increase in the Salmonella percent positive using the 30 mL enrichment method.

FSIS anticipates that the analysis including the 30 mL enrichment step more accurately reflects product contamination by allowing more Campylobacter cells to be detected if present. This increased detection is facilitated by the increase in test portion size from 1 mL to 30 mL together with the potential for growth and recovery of injured cells allowed by the enrichment process. The agency will continue to perform the 1 mL direct plating method alongside the 30 mL enrichment method and analyze data generated from both analytical approaches. These analyses will determine whether significant differences exist, and whether these differences may suggest the need for changes to the pathogen reduction performance standards for Campylobacter in NRTE comminuted chicken and turkey.

2015 FSIS Administrator’s Awards Ceremony

The 2015 FSIS Administrator’s Awards Ceremony took place on March 17, 2015, at FSIS Headquarters in Washington, DC. Deputy Under Secretary Al Almanza recognized FSIS program areas, teams and individuals across the Agency. The awards celebrate FSIS employees who contribute a wealth of ideas, and knowledge, and who consistently demonstrate the Agency’s mantra of “One Team with One Purpose” in fulfilling the Agency’s mission of protecting public health.

The following program areas and/or individuals were recognized at the event:

For Excellence in Mission Results
• New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) Team led by Mary E. Porretta (Office of Policy and Program Development - OPPD)
• FSIS Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) Team led by Christopher P. Alvares (Office of Data Integration and Food Protection) and Kristin G. Holt (Office of Public Health Science - OPHS)
• The Egg Products into Public Health Information System (PHIS) Team led by Kim R. Green (Office of Field Operations - OFO), Scott E. Seebohm and Dawn G. Sprouls (OFO)

For Excellence in Civil Rights and Diversity
• Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audit’s (OIEA) Diversity and Inclusion Group led by Beth R. Leopold (OIEA)

For Employee of the Year
• Gary A. Noyes, Economist (OPPD)

For Leader of the Year
• Patricia A. Bennett, Deputy Director (OPHS)

 FSIS Policy Updates

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

  • Notice 18-15, Analysis for Salmonella of All Imported Beef Products Sampled for Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia Coli (STEC)
  • Notice 19-15, Requirement for a Special Certification Statement for Export of Raw Poultry and Raw Poultry Product to Canada
  • Notice 20-15, Survey of Products Exported to Canada

 Export Requirement Updates

The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for the following countries:

  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Jordan
  • Republic of Macedonia
  • United Arab Emirates

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

FSIS Food Recalls and Alerts

Stay up-to-date on FSIS’ food recall alerts by visiting FSIS’ Current Recalls and Alerts Web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

You can also receive e-mail notifications when public health alerts and recalls are issued. Register at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe.

Follow Us On Twitter

Find food safety information for at-risk people, along with tips and resources to keep consumers and other interested groups informed of the latest agency news and events. Follow FSIS on Twitter at www.twitter.com/USDAFoodSafety.  

Tweet en Español

FSIS Twitter en Español mantiene a los consumidores y otras comunidades informados de las últimas noticias y eventos de la agencia y ofrece consejos de seguridad alimentaria.

FSIS Wants to Hear From You

The Constituent Update Content and Technical Review Committee seeks feedback from its readers. Please let us know what you think about the Constituent Update and send comments and suggestions regarding content to FSISUpdate@fsis.usda.gov. If you aren’t regularly receiving the Constituent Update, you can sign up for it at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings/newsletters/constituent-updates.

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.