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Constituent Update - February 12, 2016

FSIS to Hold Educational Meetings for Importers on Inspection of Siluriformes Fish

FSIS will be conducting a series of educational meetings regarding the new final rule, “Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived from Such Fish,” which was published in the Federal Register on December 2, 2015. The purpose of the meetings is to explain and review the regulatory requirements contained in the final rule as they apply to importers. Regulations applying to the Siluriformes fish industry were adopted under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, as required under the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills.

The final rule, which applies to both domestically-raised and imported Siluriformes fish, becomes effective March 1, 2016, with an 18-month transitional period. During the transitional period, FSIS will provide guidance and work with domestic establishments and importers to ensure that they understand FSIS’ requirements. The final rule, and additional information on the mandatory inspection of Siluriformes fish and fish products, is available on the FSIS web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/siluriformes. Questions regarding the mandatory inspection of fish of the order Siluriformes and products derived from such fish may be directed to AskFish@fsis.usda.gov.

The meetings will be held on the following dates in the specified cities:

  • March 3, 2016, Newark, NJ: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET, Rutgers University – Newark, School of Public Affairs, The Great Hall, 15 Washington Street, Newark, N.J.  07102.
    For directions, please visit: https://www.newark.rutgers.edu/directions-and-parking.
  • March 17, 2016, Los Angeles, CA: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm PT, Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 W. Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, Calif. 90045.
  • March 24, 2016, Houston, TX: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm CT, Hilton Houston North, 12400 Greenspoint Drive, Houston, Texas 77060.

If there is sufficient interest, meetings focused on importers may also be held in Miami, Fla. and Norfolk, Va. FSIS will announce the dates and times of these additional meetings at a later date, if appropriate. To pre-register for any of the meetings, including Miami, Fla. and Norfolk, Va., go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings. The cutoff dates for pre-registration are as follows:

  • Newark, N.J.: March 1, 2016
  • Los Angeles, Calif.: March 15, 2016
  • Houston, Texas: March 22, 2016
  • Miami, Fla. and Norfolk, Va.: March 22, 2016

For more information regarding these educational sessions or special accommodations, please contact Evelyn Gomez at 202-418-8903 or email evelyn.gomez@fsis.usda.gov.

NACMCF Subcommittee on Virulence Factors and Attributes that Define Foodborne Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) as Severe Human Pathogens to Meet

The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF), Virulence Factors and Attributes that Define Foodborne Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) as Severe Human Pathogens Subcommittee, will meet in Washington, DC, February 23-26, 2016 from 9:00am to 5:00pm at the Patriot’s Plaza 3, 1st Floor Conference Rooms, 355 E. Street SW, Washington, DC  20024.

The subcommittee will be meeting to discuss the most current information regarding improved detection and identification methods for these pathogens.

To attend, please contact Karen Thomas, Advisory Committee Specialist, at 202-690-6620, or by email at karen.thomas-sharp@fsis.usda.gov.

FSIS Updates RTE Testing Program

FSIS has updated the regulatory microbiological testing program report for Ready-to-Eat (RTE) meat and poultry products for calendar year 2015. Previous RTE reports from 2014 and before can be easily
accessed.

The RTE testing program results can be found at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/testing-program-for-rte-meat-and-poultry-products/testing-program-rte. All questions should be submitted to http://askfsis.custhelp.com/.

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 February 7, 2016, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 12,363 beef trim samples (10,592 domestic and 1,771 imported), 3,144 routine follow-up samples (3,030 domestic and 114 imported), and 326 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. One-hundred and forty-seven samples were found to be positive; 82 were domestic trim samples, four were imported trim samples, 57 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 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/.

Export Requirement Updates

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

  • China, People’s Republic of
  • Japan
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey

For a complete list of countries, visit 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.