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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Constituent Update - June 2, 2017

FSIS Encourages the Use of Food Thermometers to be Food Safe this Summer

FSIS wants to remind consumers to keep their family and themselves safe from foodborne illness by using a food thermometer to ensure meat and poultry is cooked to the correct internal temperature.

Recent research by USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that only 34 percent of the public use a food thermometer when cooking hamburgers. If you don’t verify your burger’s internal temperature, pathogens may still be present. When eaten, those hamburgers can make your guests and your family sick.

In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people suffer from foodborne illness each year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. So how do you avoid becoming a part of those statistics? Follow USDA’s four easy steps to food safety this summer.

Clean: Make sure to always wash your hands and surfaces with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before cooking and after handling raw meat or poultry. If cooking outside or away from a kitchen, pack clean cloths and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.

Separate: When taking food off of the grill, use clean utensils and platters. Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry.

Cook: Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat and poultry. Place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food.

  • Hamburgers, sausages and other ground meats should reach 160°F.
  • All poultry should reach a minimum temperature of 165°F.
  • Whole cuts of pork, lamb, veal and of beef should be cooked to 145°F as measured by a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, and allowed to rest for three minutes before eating. A “rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys pathogens
  • Fish should be cooked to 145°F.

Chill: Place leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate or freeze immediately. Discard food that has been sitting out longer than two hours.

If you have any questions, you can always contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (1-888-674-6854) Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or email or chat at AskKaren.gov.

PHIS Export Webinar Videos for Industry Available Online

As previously announced, FSIS is delaying the implementation of the Public Health Information System (PHIS) automated export application to June 29, 2018. As part of its outreach efforts, the YouTube videos from both the Feb. 14 and March 27, 2017 export webinars are available at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/phis.

Retail Exemptions Adjusted Dollar Limitations

On June 1, 2017, FSIS announced the dollar limitations, based on the Consumer Price Index, for the amount of meat and 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 2017, the dollar limitation for meat and meat food products is being decreased from $79,200 to $75,700 and for poultry and poultry products from $58,200 to $56,600. For more information visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/577e2023-683f-4c7f-bf82-99253785d819/2017-0015.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.

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 May 28, 2017, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 18,395 beef trim samples (15,319 domestic and 3,076 imported) 4,018 routine follow-up samples (3,904 domestic and 114 imported) and 355 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. One hundred and ninety-four samples were found to be positive; 116 were domestic trim samples, ten were imported trim samples, 64 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 https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations. The following policy updates were recently issued:

  • Docket No. FSIS-2017-0015 - Retail Exemptions Adjusted Dollar Limitations
  • Docket No. FSIS-2017-0022 - Notice of Request for Renewal of an Approved Information Collection (Electronic Import Inspection)