In This Week’s Edition:
- USDA Low Carbon Beef Claim Petition
- USDA Announces Finalists for Twelve New USDA Regional Food Business Centers
- FDA Commissioner Speaks on Cronobacter Issues
- AMS Publishes Final Rule on Exceptions to Geographic Boundaries for Grain Inspection Services
- USDA is Providing $130 Million in Assistance to Farmers Facing Financial Risk
- Notice of Availability of a Pest Risk Analysis for the Importation of Fresh Ginseng Roots From Korea
- FSIS Publishes Guideline on Ready-to-Eat Fermented, Salt-Cured, and Dried Products Guideline
- FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Status Update
- FSIS Updates Lists of Foreign Establishments Eligible to Export to U.S.
- FDA Import Alerts
- FDA Warning Letters
USDA Low Carbon Beef Claim Petition
The Environmental Working Group has petitioned FSIS to:
- Prohibit the recently approved “Low-Carbon Beef” Claim.
- Require third-party verification for similar carbon claims.
- Require a numerical on-pack carbon disclosure when such claims are made.
USDA Announces Finalists for Twelve New USDA Regional Food Business Centers
USDA announced the creation of 12 new USDA Regional Food Business Centers that will provide national coverage coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building intended to help farmers, ranchers, and other food businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state, and local resources. In addition, USDA also announced a $420 million Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program to fund innovative projects designed invest in processing and distribution capacity to strengthen local and regional food systems.
FDA Commissioner Speaks on Cronobacter Issues
FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf’s remarks on the dangers of Cronobacter and challenges of addressing it are here.
AMS Publishes Final Rule on Exceptions to Geographic Boundaries for Grain Inspection Services
This final rule sets forth a process by which applicants for official grain inspection services may request a service exception, allowing an official agency (OA) to cross boundary lines and perform services outside of its assigned geographic area. While four exception types are authorized in the United States Grain Standards Act, this final rule focuses on two: the inability to provide services in a timely manner and the nonuse of service from the OA assigned to the applicant’s geographic area.
USDA is Providing $130 Million in Assistance to Farmers Facing Financial Risk
USDA announced that nearly $130 million in additional, automatic financial assistance has been obligated for qualifying farm loan program borrowers who are facing financial risk. The announcement is part of the $3.1 billion to help distressed farm loan borrowers that was provided through Section 22006 of the Inflation Reduction Act.
Notice of Availability of a Pest Risk Analysis for the Importation of Fresh Ginseng Roots From Korea
USDA is advising the public that they have prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with importation of fresh ginseng roots from the Republic of Korea into the United States. USDA has determined that phytosanitary measures can be applied to mitigate pest risk. This step indicates that USDA could approve the importation of ginseng from Korea in the future.
FSIS Publishes Guideline on Ready-to-Eat Fermented, Salt-Cured, and Dried Products Guideline
This guideline provides information on FSIS regulatory requirements associated with safe production of ready-to-eat shelf-stable, fermented, salt-cured, and dried products that rely on multi-hurdle approaches to achieve lethality and shelf-stability. It applies to small and very small meat and poultry establishments although large establishments can reference the information as well.
FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Status Update
This week’s updates are:
- For the investigation with the not yet identified cause of illness (ref # 1152), preliminary information reported by Gallatin City- County Health Department and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services indicates that a food containing imported morel mushrooms consumed at a single restaurant in Montana may be the exposure of concern. This restaurant is temporarily closed. The product linked to illnesses has been updated to morel mushrooms (suspect), the case count has increased from 13 cases to 30 cases, and sample collection and analysis have been initiated. FDA is assisting in this investigation, but at this time it appears to be a localized issue and no illnesses have been identified outside of this restaurant cluster. This is an ongoing investigation and more information will be provided as it becomes available.
- An Outbreak Advisory was issued for the outbreak of Salmonella Infantis (ref # 1141) linked to specific lots of General Mills Gold Medal Unbleached and Bleached All Purpose Flour. On 4/28/2023, General Mills, Inc. issued a voluntary recall.
FSIS Updates Lists of Foreign Establishments Eligible to Export to U.S.
FDA Import Alerts
The latest FDA import alerts include food products that appear to be adulterated for economic gain, foods containing undeclared major allergens or foods that fail to properly label major allergens, and more.
FDA Warning Letters
|Juicer Connections, Inc.|
|Juice HACCP/CGMP for Foods/Adulterated/Insanitary Conditions|
|Milky Way International Trading Corporation|
|Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)|
|Promar Seafood S. de R.L.|
|Seafood HACCP/CGMP for Foods/Adulterated|
|Santa Cruz Produce, Inc.|
|Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)|
|Tager Online, Inc. DBA Volt Candy; Volt Candy Wholesale Club|
|Unapproved New Drugs/Misbranded|