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Constituent Update - July 24, 2020

FSIS Updates Compliance Guideline for Label Approval

FSIS has issued an update to its Compliance Guideline for Label Approval. This compliance guideline provides information about the types of labels and labeling that need to be submitted to the agency for approval. The agency will hold webinars to discuss the new updates to the guideline.

The guideline includes information such as:

  • Specific examples of certain special statements and claims; 
  • Factual statements and claims that are generically approved; 
  • Changes to labels approved with special statements and claims without additional FSIS review; 
  • Changes to labels with special statements and claims that require FSIS review; 
  • Information on how to submit requests for blanket label approval; and 
  • Special statements and claims that FSIS needs to review for only one label. 

In response to comments received, FSIS updated the guideline to include new examples in all the appendices. Additions or updates to the categories of labels are marked with a bolded asterisk. This guideline is not for establishments that produce products that do not fall under 9 CFR Part 412 (e.g., establishments that produce egg products and establishments that slaughter or process exotic species under voluntary inspection).

FSIS will update the guideline periodically as it evaluates new statements and claims on meat and poultry product labels. FSIS will announce new additions to the appendices via the Constituent Update.

FSIS will hold webinars to discuss the updates to the compliance guideline on August 12, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET and September 9, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET. To access the webinars, please go to https://fsis-usda.webex.com/join/rosalyn.murphy-jenkins and follow the on-screen instructions. Use the following information when logging in: meeting number 888-844-9904 and code 2956126. For questions, contact Gianfranco Santaliz at 301-504-0878 or gianfranco.santaliz@usda.gov.

Questions about the compliance guideline may be submitted via AskFSIS or by contacting the Labeling and Program Delivery Staff at 301-504-0878.   

Webinar: USDA Assistance for Small Scale Meat Processing 

USDA offers many support options for small scale processing. USDA’s Rural Development (RD) offers loans, grants, and loan guarantees to assist small and very small meat processors, and FSIS provides inspection services that broaden the marketplace for processors who are looking for more retail and commercial outlets.

FSIS and RD are holding a webinar on July 28 at 3:30 p.m. ET to discuss assistance for small scale meat processing. Join Under Secretary for Food Safety Mindy Brashears and Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand to learn how these opportunities and programs work together to support small scale meat processing.

To register, visit https://ems8.intellor.com/?do=register&t=1&p=830079.

Programs To Be Featured: Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program, B&I CARES Act Program, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Loan and Grant Program (REAP), REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants, Value-Added Producer Grants Program, Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, Intermediary Relending Program, Federal and State Inspection Programs.

Webinar Topics: Funding for Small Scale Processing, How to Get a Federal Grant of Inspection, State and Custom Exempt Inspection Programs. 

FSIS Posts After-Action Review Report for Foodborne E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

FSIS has posted on its website an after-action review report for the investigation of a 2019 outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses associated with ground beef. Public health officials in Oregon and Washington, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and FSIS investigated an outbreak of five confirmed E. coli O157:H7 illnesses linked to ground beef produced by multiple retailers.

The findings of this outbreak investigation highlight the need for continued illness-prevention efforts in three areas: (1) retailers and official establishments that grind beef are required to maintain complete and accurate grinding records (9 CFR 320.1(b)(4)); (2) retailers and FSIS-regulated establishments that produce beef should address the risk of E. coli O157:H7, including taking steps to ensure that beef is being used as intended; and (3) consumers should fully cook ground beef.

To view the full report, please visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/foodborne-outbreak-investigation/outbreak-ecoli-ground-beef-2019.

The purpose of FSIS outbreak investigation after-action review reports is to share lessons learned with industry and public health partners to help prevent illness and improve response. To view additional reports and learn more about outcomes of FSIS outbreak investigations, please visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/OutbreakOutcomes.

Policy Update

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 update was recently issued:

Notice 37-20 - Posting of Informational Dashboard Specific to FSIS Directive 10,010.1

Export Requirements Update

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

  • Chile
  • European Union
  • Mexico
  • New Caledonia 
  • Peru
  • Taiwan
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

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