Uniform Compliance Date for Food Labeling Regulations
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is establishing January 1, 2016, as the uniform compliance date for new meat and poultry product labeling regulations that are issued between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2014. FSIS periodically announces uniform compliance dates for new meat and poultry product labeling regulations to minimize the economic impact of label changes.
National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI). The Committee is being convened to review two topics for FSIS. The first is strengthening Agency verification activities and guidance concerning sanitary dressing and antimicrobial interventions at veal slaughter operations. FSIS test results show that the percent positive for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) from trimmings and ground beef produced from veal are higher than trimmings and ground beef produced from other cattle slaughter classes. FSIS is seeking feedback from NACMPI on improvements FSIS can make to its verification activities related to sanitary dressing and interventions at veal slaughter establishments and improvements it can make to its compliance guidance to address veal slaughter operations. FSIS is also seeking feedback from NACMPI on the ideal outreach strategy for communicating with the veal industry. The second topic is a review of criteria for categorizing FSIS regulations as public health regulations. FSIS has revised its criteria for identifying regulations that are most closely related to public health outcomes. FSIS is seeking input from NACMPI on the criteria and feedback on the proposed approach.
Not Applying the Mark of Inspection Pending Certain Test Results
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing that it is changing its procedures and will withhold its determination as to whether meat and poultry products are not adulterated, and thus eligible to enter commerce, until all test results that bear on the determination have been received. This notice responds to the comments FSIS received on the Federal Register notice it issued on April 11, 2011, which announced the Agency's intention to implement this policy, and explains how this policy will apply to domestic and imported product. FSIS did not make any changes to the policy that it announced.
HACCP Plan Reassessment for Not-Ready-To-Eat Comminuted Poultry Products and Related Agency Verification Procedures
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is publishing this notice to inform establishments producing not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) ground or otherwise comminuted chicken and turkey products that they must reassess their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans for these products to take into account several recent Salmonella outbreaks associated with consumption of comminuted NRTE turkey products. No sooner than 90 days following publication of this notice, Agency inspection program personnel (IPP) will begin verifying that establishments that manufacture comminuted NRTE turkey or chicken product, as a final or intermediary product for further processing as NRTE product, have reassessed their HACCP plans for these products. This notice also describes how FSIS will determine whether the association of NRTE meat or poultry product with an outbreak would make subsequently-produced like product adulterated. In addition, FSIS is expanding its Salmonella Verification Sampling Program for Raw Meat and Poultry product to include all forms of non- breaded, non-battered comminuted NRTE poultry product that are not destined under company control programs for further processing into RTE products in official establishments. Finally, this notice announces that FSIS will apply its Category 1 performance measure based on current performance standards for ground chicken and turkey product to comminuted poultry to mark the level of process control that all establishments producing such products should maintain. No sooner than 90 days after publication of this notice, the Agency will begin sampling to determine the prevalence of Salmonella in comminuted poultry and will use the results from this sampling to develop performance standards for these products. For reasons discussed later, FSIS has not tested NRTE comminuted poultry products, other than ground chicken and ground turkey, for Salmonella. In addition, FSIS is likely to develop Campylobacter standards for these products following validation of an analytic method. FSIS invites comments on this notice.