Retail Exemptions Adjusted Dollar Limitations
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing the dollar limitations on the amount of meat and meat food products and poultry and poultry products that a retail store can sell to hotels, restaurants, and similar institutions without disqualifying itself for exemption from Federal inspection requirements. Because Siluriformes fish have been regulated, along with traditional meat products, under the Federal Meat Inspection Act since 2016, FSIS has included Siluriformes fish and fish products in its calculations for the retail dollar limitation for meat products in this announcement. FSIS requests comments on the inclusion of Siluriformes fish and fish products with meat products.
Expansion of FSIS Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) Testing to Additional Raw Beef Products
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing plans to expand its routine verification testing for six Shiga toxin- producing Escherichia coli (non-O157 STEC; O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, or O145) that are adulterants, in addition to the adulterant Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7, to ground beef, bench trim, and raw ground beef components other than raw beef manufacturing trimmings (i.e., head meat, cheek meat, weasand (esophagus) meat, product from advanced meat recovery (AMR) systems, partially defatted chopped beef and partially defatted beef fatty tissue, low temperature rendered lean finely textured beef, and heart meat)(hereafter ``other raw ground beef components'') for samples collected at official establishments. STEC includes non-O157 STEC; O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, or O145, that are adulterants, and E. coli O157:H7. Currently, FSIS tests only its beef manufacturing trimmings samples for these six non-O157 STEC and E. coli O157:H7; all other aforementioned raw beef products are presently tested for E. coli O157:H7 only. FSIS also intends to test for these non-O157 STEC in ground beef samples that it collects at retail stores and in applicable samples it collects of imported raw beef products. FSIS is requesting comments on the proposed sampling and testing of ground beef, bench trim, and other raw ground beef components. FSIS will announce the date it will implement the new testing in a subsequent Federal Register notice. Additionally, FSIS is responding to comments on the November 19, 2014, Federal Register notice titled ``Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Certain Raw Beef Products.'' FSIS is also making available its updated analysis of the estimated costs and benefits associated with the implementation of its non-O157 STEC testing on raw beef manufacturing trimmings and the costs and benefits associated with the expansion of its non-O157 STEC testing to ground beef, bench trim, and other raw ground beef components (https:// www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/c37a7129-639c-41fa-ab75-be6 dddcd1c44/ placeholder-link?MOD=AJPERES&useDefaultText=0&useDefaultDesc= 0).
Inspection of Yak and Other Bovidae, Cervidae, and Camelidae Species
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to amend its regulations to define yak and include it among ``exotic animals'' eligible for voluntary inspection. This proposed change responds to a petition for rulemaking. It would officially allow yak products to be voluntarily inspected and to bear the USDA voluntary mark of inspection, benefitting the yak industry. FSIS is also requesting comments on whether all farmed-raised species in the biological families Bovidae, Cervidae, and Camelidae, if not already subject to mandatory inspection, should be eligible for voluntary inspection, and whether any species in these families should be added to the list of amenable species requiring mandatory inspection. FSIS already requires mandatory inspection for several species of the Family Bovidae (cattle, sheep, and goats). The Agency also provides voluntary inspection to several species of Bovidae not subject to mandatory inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, as well as several species of Cervidae. These species include: Reindeer, elk, deer, antelope, water buffalo, and bison.
Elimination of the Requirement To Defibrinate Livestock Blood Saved as an Edible Product
The Food Safety and Inspection Service is proposing to remove a provision from the Federal meat inspection regulations that requires the defibrination of livestock blood saved as an edible product. This proposed action would eliminate a regulatory requirement and its associated costs to industry without affecting food safety. Moreover, it would allow industry to fulfill a demand for non-defibrinated blood products.