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FSIS Alerts ID Warehouses On Policy For Disclaimer or Instructional Statements Concerning E. coli

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a letter to identification (ID) warehouses alerting them that FSIS will not provide identification services under 9 CFR 350.3 for warehouses to divide bulk units into smaller units if the product is beef and bears a disclaimer statement or instructional statement concerning E. coli O157:H7. 

Examples of disclaimer statements are "not tested for E. coli O157:H7," and instructional statements are "for cooking only."  Disclaimer statements and instructional statements concerning E. coli O157:H7 may not be applied at an ID warehouse.

Because ID warehouses are not subject to the Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) in 9 CFR 416.11-17, the agency believes the potential for cross contamination exists.  Therefore, inspection personnel will detain product with disclaimer or instructional statements if breaking bulk or repackaging of product bearing this type of statement is observed at the ID warehouse.

The agency permits use of the disclaimer and instructional statements only when the product is destined for another official establishment.  The letter provides conditions that must be met for an establishment to be allowed to send raw beef products with an instructional or disclaimer statement concerning E. coli O157:H7 to an ID warehouse. 

To view the letter in its entirety, please visit the agency's website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISDirectives/ID_Warehouse_Ltr.pdf

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