Use of Whole Genome Sequence Analysis To Improve Food Safety and Public Health
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), with participation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and other stakeholders is hosting a public meeting to discuss FSIS' and other agencies' practices and plans for collecting and analyzing whole genome sequence (WGS) data of bacteria isolated from official samples, as well as the state of the science and other issues surrounding this technology. WGS analyses can determine sequence relatedness between bacterial isolates with higher resolution than other analytical methods, including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), FSIS' current method of characterizing bacteria. In addition, WGS analyses can characterize genes and other features of bacterial genomes. Currently, FSIS, local, State, and Federal public health and regulatory partners submit WGS data to a Federal public database, readily accessible to Federal and state partners, and other stakeholders, including regulated industry and consumers. Using this common database, Federal food safety partners can share information and collaborate on issues related to food safety and public health. FSIS intends to analyze WGS data using thoroughly vetted and scientifically accepted procedures and standards, along with epidemiological information and industry production and distribution records on amenable product, to carry out its public health mission. Inclusion of WGS analyses in decision-making will enhance foodborne outbreak investigations, as well as general decisions related to the use of data from routine verification sampling of establishments under FSIS jurisdiction. Industry, interested individuals, organizations, and other stakeholders are invited to participate in the meeting and comment on FSIS approaches for using WGS data within a regulatory framework.
Public Health Information System (PHIS) Export Component Country Implementation
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing and requesting comment on its plan to implement the Public Health Information System (PHIS) Export Component. In response to stakeholder feedback and to ensure sufficient testing and outreach, FSIS is extending the implementation date of the PHIS Export Component to June 29, 2018. FSIS will first implement the PHIS Export Component with a limited number of foreign countries and will expand implementation to add countries incrementally.
Availability of FSIS Compliance Guideline for Minimizing the Risk of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia Coli (STEC) and Salmonella in Raw Beef (Including Veal) Processing Operations
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing the availability of and requesting comments on the updated compliance guideline for small and very small businesses on reducing STEC and Salmonella in beef and veal operations. The new guideline will assist small and very small beef (including veal) processing establishments understand and comply with the regulatory requirements associated with controlling STEC and Salmonella in raw non-intact beef products and beef products intended for non- intact use. The guideline also includes information for establishments and retail stores on developing and maintaining records associated with the production of ground beef.
International Standard-Setting Activities
This notice informs the public of the sanitary and phytosanitary standard-setting activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), in accordance with section 491 of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended, and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. This notice also provides a list of other standard-setting activities of Codex, including commodity standards, guidelines, codes of practice, and revised texts. This notice, which covers Codex activities during the time periods from June 1, 2016, to May 31, 2017, and June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018, seeks comments on standards under consideration and recommendations for new standards.
Changes to the Inspection Coverage in Official Establishments That Slaughter Fish of the Order Siluriformes
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is confirming that on September 1, 2017, it will adjust inspection coverage at official establishments that slaughter fish of the order Siluriformes from all hours of operation to once per production shift. FSIS also is responding to comments received on the May 17, 2017 Federal Register document that announced these changes.