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Constituent Update - July 21, 2017

Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives at USDA

On July 17, 2017, USDA published a request for information, “Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives,” in pursuant with Executive Order 13777—Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda. USDA is requesting ideas from the public on how to provide better customer service and remove unintended barriers to participation in our programs in ways that least interfere with our customers and allow us to accomplish our mission. USDA is asking for public ideas on regulations, guidance documents, or any other policy documents that are in need of reform, for example, ideas to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal those items.

Comments and information are requested on or before July 17, 2018. USDA will review comments in four batches over a one-year period. The cut-off period for comments for the first, second, third and fourth batches are Sept. 15, 2017, Nov. 14, 2017, Feb.12, 2018 and July 17, 2018, respectively.

Comments can be submitted the two following ways:

  • Electronic Submission of Comments. You may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.  
  • Submission of Comments by Mail, Hand delivery, or Courier. Paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions should be submitted to regulations@obpa.usda.gov, Office of Budget and Program Analysis, USDA, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 101-A, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, D.C. 20250.

For proper delivery, in your comment specify “Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives.” For more information, please visit https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/17/2017-14920/identifying-regulatory-reform-initiatives.

Raw Pork Products Exploratory Sampling Program – Phase One Now Available

FSIS announced the launch of the Raw Pork Products Exploratory Sampling Program (RPPESP) in an FSIS Notice on April 13, 2015. The goal of the project is to collect data on the presence of Salmonella, other pathogens, and indicator organisms in various pork products. The first phase (Phase 1) of the exploratory sampling at slaughter and processing establishments was conducted from May 2015 through November 2015. Additionally, samples were collected during a transition phase from January 2016 through May 2017, and a second phase (Phase 2) of the exploratory sampling began in June 2017 www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/special-sampling-projects/raw-pork-sampling.   

During Phase 1 of the sampling program, the Agency analyzed approximately 1,200 samples and evaluated the sampling results. Results from Phase 1 and transitional sampling are available at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/bb3fd78c-9d59-46db-a223-4f54168d97ab/RPPESP-Phase-I-Transitional-Results.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.

Refer questions regarding this information to askFSIS or by telephone at 1-800-233-3935. When submitting a question, use the Submit a Question tab, and enter the following information in the fields provided:

Subject Field: Enter RPPESP Phase I Data
Question Field: Enter question with as much detail as possible.
Product Field: Select General Inspection Policy from the drop-down menu.
Category Field: Select Sampling - Salmonella from the drop-down menu.
Policy Arena: Select Domestic (U.S.) Only from the drop-down menu.

Food Safety Discovery Zone at California State Fair

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety Discovery Zone (FSDZ) continues its national food safety educational tour with an exhibition at the California State Fair in Sacramento, Calif., now through July 30, 2017. The FSDZ is a 40-foot long exhibit that provides visitors of all ages with interactive and fun experiences that teach them how to prevent foodborne illness when preparing food at home.

This one of a kind, interactive food safety exhibit is visiting the California State Fair for the first time. The FSDZ teaches visitors how to prevent foodborne illness by emphasizing four fun and easy lessons:

  • Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat and poultry separate from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook: Always use a food thermometer to ensure foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
  • Chill: Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry and egg products promptly.

Make sure to stop by now through July 30, 2017. Food safety experts will be on hand to answer questions from Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The FSDZ will be parked near the Farm, between buildings B and C. A map can be found at: http://calexpo.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/GroundsMap.pdf.  

USDA’s Spring 2017 Regulatory Agenda is Available

On July 20, 2017, USDA published its spring 2017 regulatory agenda along with other Federal departments and agencies’ regulatory agendas. For more information, please visit: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain.

FSIS Schedules Industry Webinar for Roll-out of Egg Products Plant Food Safety Assessments

In the March 3, 2017 Constituent Update, FSIS announced its plans to begin a phased roll-out of the Public Health Risk Evaluation (PHRE) and Food Safety Assessment (FSA) methodologies in egg products plants, similar to meat and poultry, and sought comments on the concept and phased roll-out. FSIS received four comments from a single egg products association and has thoroughly considered the comments provided. The Constituent Update stated that FSIS would not conduct any PHREs or FSAs until the comment period closed and a public webinar was held.

FSIS is now announcing the public webinar to describe the phased roll-out and how the PHRE methodology and FSA methodology will be applied at egg products plants to address comments received, and to answer any questions. The webinar will be held on Aug. 9, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET. People who wish to attend in person can do so at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Whitten Building, 1400 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, D.C. 20024.

To register for this event, please send an email to: Buckley.Mckay@fsis.usda.gov. Please provide your name, name of company, mailing address, contact number and email address, and indicate if you plan on attending in person or by teleconference. Call-in information for the webinar will be sent closer to the date to registered participants attending by teleconference.

Export Requirements Updates

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

  • Belarus
  • French Polynesia
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • New Caledonia
  • Taiwan
  • Uzbekistan

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

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 37-17 - Cancellation of FSIS Directive 4430.6 Out of Plant Performance System (OPPS)
  • Notice 38-17 - Raw Non-Intact Beef Product Groups Update
  • Notice 39-17 - Reinspection Procedures for Product Presented for Export at Official Establishments