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FSIS Issues Three Directives Related to Verification of Listeria Control

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

(American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued three directives related to verification of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) control. 

Directive 10, 240.4 Rev. 2, Verification Procedures for Consumer Safety Inspectors for the Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) Regulation and Lm Sampling Programs, provides directions to Consumer Safety Inspectors (CSIs) on submitting ready-to-eat (RTE) product samples under the ALLRTE and RTE001 sampling projects to the laboratory after the establishment has completed all interventions, except for any intervention based on microbiological test results.

In addition, this directive changes the products sampled under the ALLRTE project code and instructs CSIs to collect samples under both sampling programs when CSIs receive forms. This directive also provides CSIs with verification instructions for RTE products when establishment product disposition occurs off-site and with instructions for verifying whether establishments are complying with the regulatory requirements in 9 CFR Part 430, Requirements for Specific Classes of Product.

 Key points covered by this directive include:

- CSI verification of 9 CFR Part 430
- Sample collection responsibilities of the CSI for the ALLRTE and RTE001 sample projects
- Enforcement
- Verification of Corrective Actions - Disposition of RTE product occurring off-site

 Directive 10,240.5 Rev. 2, Verification Procedures for Enforcement, Investigations, and Analysis Officers (EIAOs for the Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) Regulation and Routine Risk-based Listeria monocytogenes (RLm) Sampling Program, provides instructions to Enforcement, Investigations and Analysis Officers (EIAOs) for collecting samples under the Routine Risk-based Lm (RLm) Sampling Program.

 In addition, this directive provides instruction to district office personnel on scheduling RLm sampling. The sampling program includes the collection of food contact, environmental (non-food contact), and product samples, as well as completing a Food Safety Assessment (FSA). In addition, the agency will now include brine sampling as part of the RLm Sampling.

 Key points covered by this directive include:

- Changes to the Sampling Policy
- Sample collection responsibilities of the EIAO under the RLm Sampling Program
- Enforcement

Directive 10,300.1, Intensified Verification Testing (IVT) for Sampling of Product, Food Contact Surfaces, and environmental Surfaces for Listeria monocytogenes, provide instructions to EIAOs on collecting product, food contact surface, and environmental (non-food contact surface) samples using the Intensified Verification Testing (IVT) Methodology.  FSIS will now include brine sampling as part of the IVT methodology.  This document also provides EIAOs with instructions for packing and shipping these samples for testing by Food Safety and Inspection Service laboratories.             

 These directives are available on the agency’s Web site at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/regulations_directives_&_notices/index.asp.

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