Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on General Principles
The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is sponsoring a public meeting on March 21, 2006. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States positions that will be discussed at the 23rd Session of the Codex Committee on General Principles (CCGP) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), which will be held in Paris, France, April 10-14, 2006. The Under Secretary for Food Safety recognizes the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 23rd Session of CCGP and to address items on the agenda.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing changes in how it uses the results from its Salmonella verification sampling program for meat and poultry establishments to enhance public health protection. The Agency is also changing how it reports these results. These actions follow an April 2003 FSIS Federal Register Notice asking for public comment on whether and how Agency policy could be improved. This Notice responds to the comments received and presents the Agency's views on the issues raised in the 2003 Notice. FSIS will begin adding results from individual Salmonella verification sample tests to reports the Agency regularly makes to meat and poultry establishments that have asked to be informed of various test results. These Salmonella sample results will be sent to establishments as soon as they become available. FSIS will begin posting quarterly nationwide data for Salmonella, presented by product class, on the Agency Web site. Moreover, the Agency will assess each completed Salmonella sample set in light of either existing regulatory standards or recently- published baseline study results, as appropriate. FSIS expects to take follow-up action, which may include scheduling of another sample set or assessing the design and execution of the food safety system, based on how a plant's performance compares to the existing regulatory standard or nationwide baseline results and to the presence of serotypes of Salmonella that are common causes of human illness. To further encourage industry process control efforts, the Agency is providing a new compliance guideline containing information that FSIS has found to be relevant to control of Salmonella, particularly for poultry. FSIS intends to monitor closely the percent positive in verification samples month-by-month over the course of a full calendar year, beginning in 2006. After one year FSIS will evaluate these data, reassess how it reports Salmonella results for each class of products, and consider making additional changes in how it reports and publishes results.
Codex Alimentarius Commission: 38th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants
The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Health and Human Services, are sponsoring a public meeting on March 6, 2006, to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items that will be discussed at the meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCFAC), which will be held in The Hague, The Netherlands, on April 24-28, 2006. The Under Secretary and FDA recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the agenda items that will be discussed at this forthcoming session of the CCFAC.
Public Meeting on Advances in Post-Harvest Reduction of Salmonella in Poultry
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing that it will hold a public meeting on Salmonella Interventions in Poultry Slaughter and Processing on February 23 and February 24, 2006, in Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting will consist of presentations on research and practical experiences aimed at reducing the presence of Salmonella and other enteric microorganisms in poultry slaughter and processing.
Ante-Mortem Inspection of Horses
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending the Federal meat inspection regulations to provide for a voluntary fee-for- service program under which official establishments that slaughter horses will be able to apply for and pay for ante-mortem inspection. The fiscal year (FY) 2006 Appropriations Act prohibits the use of appropriated funds to pay the salaries or expenses of FSIS personnel to conduct ante-mortem inspection of horses. The Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference on the FY 2006 appropriations bill for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, however, provides that the Department of Agriculture is obliged to provide for inspection of meat for human consumption. FSIS is establishing this fee-for-service program under the Agricultural Marketing Act (AMA). Post-mortem inspection and other inspection activities authorized by the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) at official establishments that slaughter horses would continue to be paid for with appropriated funds, except for overtime or holiday inspection services.