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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


Constituent Update - August 18, 2017

FSIS Announces Additional Educational Meetings on the Implementation of Siluriformes Inspection

FSIS is holding two Siluriformes fish educational meetings next week. The first meeting will take place on Aug. 24, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn., and the second meeting will take place on Aug. 25, 2017, in Webster, Fla. The purpose of the meetings is to discuss the implementation and enforcement of the Final Rule on the “Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the order Siluriformes and Products Derived from such Fish.” As with the previous meetings in Virginia and Maryland, the meetings’ primary objectives are to provide updated information to stakeholders and to encourage dialogue between FSIS and the Siluriformes fish industry. FSIS is particularly interested in soliciting participation from representatives from domestic wild-caught operations that process Siluriformes fish and fish products. Affected industry and interested individuals, organizations and other stakeholders are invited to participate in the meetings.

Persons wishing to attend are encouraged to register in advance. The meeting on Aug. 24, 2017 will be held from 9:00 a.m.to 3:00 p.m. CT in Memphis, Tenn., at the Holiday Inn Memphis Airport and Convention Center, located at 2240 Democrat Rd., Memphis, TN. On-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. CT.

The meeting on Aug.25, 2017, will be held from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. ET in Webster, Fla., at the Florida Bass Conservation Center, 3583 CR 788, Webster, FL. On-site registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. ET.

To pre-register for the meeting, please visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings. For further information, please contact Evelyn Arce, Outreach and Partnership Division, Office of Outreach, Employee Education and Training via telephone at (202) 418-8903, fax (202) 690-6519 or email: Evelyn.Arce@fsis.usda.gov regarding additional information about these meetings or to arrange for special accommodations.

FSIS Announces Updated Compliance Guidelines for Label Approval

On Aug. 18, 2017, FSIS issued an update to the November 2015, 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, including specific examples of certain special statements and claims that are not generically approved.

The guideline was updated to include new examples of special statements and claims that require submitting for approval, factual statements and claims that are generically approved, changes that can be made generically to labels previously approved with special statements and claims, and changes that cannot be made generically to labels previously approved with special statements and claims. In addition, the updated guideline provides new information for how to submit a label application for a blanket approval. A blanket approval refers to situations where the submission and approval of one label application covers an entire line of products without having to submit each label individually. 

FSIS invites interested people to submit comments on this notice in the next 60 days. Comments may be submitted online via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov; by mail including CD-ROMs sent to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700; or by hand or courier-delivery to Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700. All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2016-0021.

Questions about the Compliance Guide may be submitted via askFSIS or by contacting the Labeling and Program Delivery Staff at 301-504-0878.   

FSIS Extends Comment Period for Compliance Guidelines for Establishments Regarding Lethality and Stabilization in Meat and Poultry Products

On June 16, 2017, FSIS made updated compliance guidelines available for small and very small meat and poultry establishments, regarding lethality and stabilization in meat and poultry products. A ready-to-eat product manufacturer requested that FSIS extend the comment period while it researches the implications of the revised guidelines and appendices, so as to make informed comments. Therefore, FSIS is announcing the extension of the comment period until Sept. 17, 2017.  

FSIS Posts Aggregate Results for Chicken Parts, Comminuted Poultry and Poultry Carcasses

On Aug. 21, 2017, FSIS will update the publicly posted aggregate Salmonella and Campylobacter sampling results (not individual establishments) relative to process control categories for establishments producing young chicken or turkey carcasses, raw chicken parts or Not Ready-To-Eat (NRTE) comminuted poultry products at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/salmonella-verification-testing-program. FSIS intends to resume individual establishment category web posting in the future once additional results from follow-up sampling for establishments that are in category three have been used to help assess establishment corrective actions. FSIS will be regularly assessing the aggregate data to determine if the follow-up sampling is working effectively.

FSIS Posts Egg Products FSA Tool

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 and sought comments on the concept and phased roll-out. After consideration of all comments, FSIS held a public webinar on Aug. 9, 2017 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. FSIS is adding the webinar presentation and the Egg Products FSA tool to the list of Food Safety Assessment Tools on its website. On or after Aug. 21, 2017, FSIS will begin conducting the PHREs on egg products plants, and will notify the four plants selected for a FSA at least two weeks prior to beginning the FSA.

Make Food Safety a Priority This Fall

During the busy fall season, whether you’re preparing a packed lunch for your child, a weeknight dinner for the family, or a tailgate feast for the whole crew, make sure you prevent foodborne illness by following USDA’s four steps to food safety: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.

Clean: Wash your hands and cooking surfaces before and after handling food. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting, or cooking. Make sure lunch boxes and coolers are clean before packing.

Separate: Avoid cross contamination. Don’t let raw meat, poultry, or egg products come in contact with fruits, vegetables, or prepared foods. Never put cooked food on a plate or tray that held raw meat or poultry.

Cook: When cooking, use a food thermometer to make sure food reaches a safe minimum internal temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria. Cook raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, roasts, and fish to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F and let them rest for three minutes before eating. When cooking raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal, make sure the meat reaches a minimum internal temperature of 160°F. Egg dishes should also be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160°F. All poultry should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F.

Chill: When packing food, use an insulated lunchbox or cooler and at least two cold sources, such as freezer packs. Discard any perishable foods that were left at room temperature longer than two hours (one hour in temperatures above 90°F).

Lunch Packing Tips

  • If the lunch contains perishable food items like luncheon meats, eggs, cheese, or yogurt, make sure to pack it with at least two cold sources, such as freezer packs. Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly so perishable food transported without a cold source won’t stay safe long.
  • Frozen juice boxes or water can also be used as freezer packs. Freeze these items overnight and use with at least one other freezer pack. By lunchtime, the liquids should be thawed and ready to drink.
  • If packing a hot lunch, like soup, chili, or stew, use an insulated container to keep it hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the piping hot food. Tell children to keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime to keep the food at 140°F or above.

Eating and Disposal Tips

  • Teach children to properly wash their hands before eating lunch. If running water isn’t available, pack disposable wipes for cleaning hands before and after eating.
  • After lunch, children should discard all leftover food and used food packaging.
  • Clean lunch boxes thoroughly each night with warm soapy water or a disinfectant wipe.

Consumers can learn more about key food safety practices at Foodsafety.gov, by following @USDAFoodSafety on Twitter, and by liking Facebook.com/FoodSafety.gov. Consumers with questions about food safety can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov, available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, in English or Spanish.

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 update were recently issued:

  • Notice 43-17 - Updated Contact Information for the FSIS Workplace Violence Prevention and Response Program
  • Notice 44-17 - Cutoff Dates for Yearend Purchases Fiscal Year 2018
  • Directive 7111.1 Rev. 2 - Verification Procedures for Lethality and Stabilization
  • Directive14000.1 - Consumer Safety Inspector Responsibilities at Fish Establishments
  • Directive14010.1 - Speciation, Residue, and Salmonella Testing of Fish of the Order Siluriformes from Domestic Establishments

Export Requirements Updates

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

  • Barbados
  • Canada
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Uruguay

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