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Constituent Update - October 9, 2015

FSIS Announces Pilot Project

Beginning with Dairy Cow and Bob Veal slaughter classes, FSIS is launching a pilot project to increase efficiencies of in-plant testing and to provide inspection program personnel (IPP) with more specific guidance. The intent of this project is to not increase the overall testing rate, but to provide more effective guidance to Public Health Veterinarians (PHVs) regarding conditions selected for testing.

The conditions selected for prioritization (see below) represent the top one third of conditions found associated with positive (both non-violative and violative) laboratory results on a national basis. With­out increasing the level of testing already taking place, PHVs in the pilot establishments will select from these conditions for residue screen testing on a primary emphasis basis. The selections from these lists should be in lieu of selections from the list of the pathologies and conditions currently in FSIS Directive 10,800.1, Rev. 1. However, this project does not eliminate professional judgment. Other conditions, not included on the primary selection list, can still be screen tested on a secondary emphasis basis.

Dairy Cows

  • Rectal/Vaginal Prolapse
  • Lung Abscess/Pneumonia
  • Bolus
  • Traumatic Reticulitis Complex/Pericarditis/Endocarditis
  • Peritonitis
  • Enteritis

Bob Veal

  • Supplier with Repeat Residue Violations
  • Injection Site
  • Emaciation
  • Peritonitis

Establishments selected for the pilot are those where the PHV is screening a high percentage of suspect and retained carcasses to enable FSIS to monitor the conditions leading to railed out carcasses.

FSIS anticipates this pilot will continue for a period of 2-3 months and will provide regular updates to stakeholders on its progress.

FSIS Posts Livestock Slaughter Establishment Residue Questionnaire Results

From June 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014, FSIS Public Health Veterinarians (PHVs) gathered data through a questionnaire about factors that may affect the performance of in-plant screening tests. FSIS intends to use the responses to the questionnaire to assess what factors influence the ability of PHVs to implement residue sampling instructions as intended and to develop strategies to enhance the effectiveness of those instructions.

The final report is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/chemistry/residue-questionnaire-results.

Revisions to the Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book

On Aug. 19, 2015, FSIS announced in the Federal Register the Agency’s intent to revise its Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book. As FSIS explained in the Federal Register, the Agency has decided to stop adding policy guidance to the book; however, FSIS will continue to amend or remove items in the book, as necessary, to remain consistent with Agency policies and regulations. The revised Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book will provide updated information for establishments to use when creating new labels and when modifying existing labels for meat and poultry products.

The revisions will provide industry with more flexibility in producing products. The revised entries can be found in the Policy Book at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/7c48be3e-e516-4ccf-a2d5-b95a128f04ae/Labeling-Policy-Book.pdf?MOD=AJPERES. Go to the entries for “Caddies,” “Grade Marks,” and “Hearts.” To review the petition, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/8be97e20-640c-4af7-88f0-3690eb5ca911/Petition_Caddie_041012.pdf?MOD=AJPERES. The changes are effective immediately and establishments may revise their existing products in accordance with 9 CFR 412.1.

Comments on these revised policy book entries may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov or by mail to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FSIS, Docket Clerk, Patriots Plaza III, 355 E St. S.W., 8-163A, Mailstop 3782, Washington, DC 20250-3700. All comments submitted must include docket number FSIS-2015-0039 and the comment period end Nov. 9, 2015.

Two Chemistry Methods Updated in Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook

Two chemistry methods have recently been updated in the FSIS Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook. The Agency intends to begin using the “Screening and Confirmation of Beta-Agonists by HPLC/MS/MS” method on Nov. 9, 2015. This method has been extended to include liver in beef and pork.

The other method, “Screening and Confirmation of Animal Drug Residues by UHPLC-MS-MS,” also known as MRM, will become effective on Nov. 27, 2015. This method analyzes 89 different chemical compounds in the muscle and kidney of various species.

The methods are available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/science/laboratories-and-procedures/guidebooks-and-methods/chemistry-laboratory-guidebook.

Update: FSIS Testing for E. coli

FSIS posts bi-weekly updates of the Agency’s raw ground beef E. coli sampling program. Included are testing results of raw ground beef component samples for E. coli O157:H7 and STECs from FSIS routine and follow-up sampling programs. Also featured is data for non-O157 STECs by each non-O157 STEC serogroup.

Between June 4, 2012 and Oct. 4, 2015, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 11,011 beef trim samples (9,381 domestic and 1,630 imported), 2,828 routine follow-up samples (2,714 domestic and 114 imported), and 277 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. One-hundred and thirty-two samples were found to be positive; 69 were domestic trim samples, 4 were imported trim samples, 55 were domestic follow-up samples, and 4 were non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. To date, three samples have been positive for both O157:H7 and at least one non-O157 STEC strain, and eight samples have been positive for two different non-O157 O-groups.

To review testing results, visit the E. coli data tables at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/ec/.

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 policies update were recently issued.

  • Notice 65-15, PHIS Slaughter Profile Enhancement
  • Directive 5220.3 Revision 1, Issuance of a 10-Day Letter for Inactive Operations
  • Directive 9780.1, Verifying the Ongoing Equivalence of Foreign Food Safety Systems

Export Requirement Updates

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

  • El Salvador
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Singapore
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay

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

We Want 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.

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.