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FSIS Issues Notices on Beef Trim Testing and on Exclusions from Salmonella Testing

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued two notices related to beef trim testing and Salmonella verification testing of raw products. 

Notice 63-08, Further Sampling Instructions Regarding FSIS Notice 63-08, clarifies the instructions in FSIS Notice 18-07, Routine Sampling of Beef Manufacturing Trimmings Intended for Use in Raw Ground Beef.  FSIS issued Notice 63-08 because inspectors are submitting fewer samples than expected under the trim sampling program. The notice identifies the minimum number of samples expected to be collected in each establishment handling raw beef products (e.g., trim and ground beef) and removes the upper limit set under the MT43 sampling program so that all beef sampling programs are consistent.  Importantly, this notice removes the upper limit on the number of samples inspection personnel can collect.  According to Notice 63-08, “FSIS may schedule as many as one sample per week per shift at establishments producing ground beef products, trimmings, or other raw ground beef or patty components.”

Notice 66-08, Raw Product Destined for Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Product Excluded from Salmonella Testing, notifies inspection personnel that a Salmonella verification sample should not be taken from a raw product if all product in a product class (e.g., broilers) at that establishment is further manufactured into ready-to-eat products either at that establishment, or at another federally inspected establishment.  Notice 66-08 instructs inspection personnel to conduct an awareness meeting with establishment management to inquire whether the establishment: 1) processes all product or all product from a particular product class into RTE product; or 2) moves all product or all product from a particular product class to another official federally inspected establishment for further processing into RTE product.  If one of these conditions is met by the establishment, the inspector is to verify the claims through records review including production codes and production lot records, and the HACCP plan and hazard analysis when appropriate.

To view the notices in their entirety, please view the FSIS website at:  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/regulations_directives_&_notices/index.asp

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