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FSIS Announces Availability of Residue Compliance Guide

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

(American Meat Institute)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced the availability of a residue compliance guide which outlines basic measures that slaughter establishments can employ to prevent or reduce residues in livestock.

This Compliance Guide emphasizes that establishments, especially those that slaughter dairy cows and bob veal calves, should apply five basic measures to reduce or prevent the occurrence of violative residues: (1) Confirm producer history; (2) buy animals from producers who have a history of providing residue-free animals and have effective residue prevention programs; (3) ensure that animals are adequately identified to enable traceback; (4) supply information to FSIS at ante-mortem inspection showing that animals in the lot did not come from repeat violators; and (5) notify producers in writing if their animals are found to have either violative residues or detectable levels that do not exceed the tolerance levels established by FDA and FSIS. Persistent non-violative levels residues may indicate a pattern of usage that could result in a violation at some point.

The Compliance Guide guide also discusses the FSIS’ revised Residue Repeat Violator List. The list now includes only producers who have provided more than one animal with a violative residue during the past 12 months. The list is also now presented in two differing forms. ``Part I'' is intended for use by FSIS inspection personnel and contains comprehensive information on the individual residue findings (e.g., tissue identified with the violation, chemical compound identified, concentration), organized alphabetically by state and firm name. ``Part II'' is intended for use by industry and lists producers that have been the source of multiple animals with residue violations and does not provide the technical information contained in Part I.

FSIS recently increased testing for residues of carcasses in establishments with violations associated with the same producer or at establishments that fail to apply the residue control measures described in the Compliance Guide. The notices with instructions to FSIS personnel concerning increased testing for residues are available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISNotices/21-11.pdf and http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISNotices/12-11.pdf .

In addition, FSIS intends to increase its testing for residues in animals from producers who are under an injunction obtained by the FDA  because of drug use practices that have led to residue violations. This action is consistent with FSIS's policy of increasing testing of carcasses at slaughter establishments that are attributable to producers with multiple residue violations.

Comments on the guide may be submitted until June 25, 2012. To view the guide, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/Compliance_Guides_Index/index.asp.

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