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Constituent Update - November 4, 2016

FSIS Releases 2017-2021 Strategic Plan

On Nov. 2, 2016, FSIS released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017–2021 Strategic Plan which will allow the Agency to continue to modernize and be more effective in meeting its public health mission.

FSIS has achieved some noteworthy accomplishments over the past five years, thanks in part to the execution of the 2011-2016 Strategic Plan and the collaborative efforts and hard work of FSIS employees. All of these efforts have culminated in the U.S. system of food safety inspection continuing to be the most reliable and well documented in the world.

“The 2017-2021 Strategic Plan anticipates future needs and challenges and will hold us accountable by well-defined objectives and measures,” said Deputy Under Secretary Al Almanza. “I’m pleased that this forward-thinking approach to food safety will be the foundation of our efforts to prevent foodborne illness for the next five years.”

The Strategic Plan’s development process included input from field and headquarters employees, Agency leadership and Federal stakeholders. This input helped shape the focus of FSIS’ work over the next five years to meet the following three goals and objectives:

  • Prevent Foodborne Illness and Protect Public Health: FSIS will continue to prevent contamination and limit illness from regulated products.
  • Modernize Inspection Systems, Policies and the Use of Scientific Approaches: FSIS will improve food safety and humane handling practices through adoption of innovative approaches and enhance access to complete and accurate information
  • Achieve Operational Excellence: FSIS will maintain a well-trained and engaged workforce with a focus to improve processes and services

The Strategic Plan can be accessed at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/317d14d6-1759-448e-941a-de3cbff289e5/Strategic-Plan-2017-2021.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.

FSIS Schedules Webinar on Compliance Guideline for Animal Raising Claims

On Sept. 30, 2016, FSIS published an updated compliance policy guideline titled “Labeling Guideline on Documentation Needed to Substantiate Animal Raising Claims for Label Submissions.” The compliance guideline provides information on the documentation needed to support animal-raising claims on product labels that must be submitted for Agency approval. The updated guideline reflects FSIS’ current position and procedures for reviewing animal-raising claims and includes explanations of animal-raising claims that FSIS may approve.

FSIS will host a webinar on the new guideline on Tuesday, Nov.15, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. EST. To access the webinar, please go to https://www.teleconference.att.com/servlet/ATTClogin and follow the on-screen instructions. Use the following information when logging on: Meeting Number: 888-844-9904 Code: 2956126. Please be sure to log on as a participant. For questions, contact Kristin Goodwin at 301-504-0878 or kristin.goodwin@fsis.usda.gov.

Additional label application information is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/labeling. Questions about the Claims Guidance may be submitted via askFSIS or by contacting the Labeling and Program Delivery Staff at (301) 504-0878.

E. coli Testing Update

FSIS posts biweekly updates of the Agency’s raw ground beef E. coli sampling program, which includes testing results of raw ground beef component samples for E. coli O157:H7and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STECs) from FSIS routine and follow-up sampling programs. Data are also presented for non-O157 STECs by each non-O157 STEC serogroup.

Between June 4, 2012 and Oct. 30, 2016, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 15,494 beef trim samples (13,312 domestic and 2,182 imported), 3,601 routine follow-up samples (3,487 domestic and 114 imported) and 326 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. One hundred seventy-six samples were found to be positive, 105 were domestic trim samples, six were imported trim samples, 61 were domestic follow-up samples and four 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 ten 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.

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 84-16 - Annual Notice of Right to Request Union Representation
  • Docket No. FSIS-2016-0031 - National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection

Food Recalls and Alerts

For information regarding recalls, please contact the Congressional and Public Affairs Staff at (202) 720-9113. You can also receive e-mail notifications when public health alerts and recalls are issued by registering at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe.