In This Week’s Edition:
- FDA Prior Notice Guidance Published
- Food Additive Petitions on Vitamin D3, Sodium Alginate Submitted
- FSIS Releases Foreign Audit Reports on Poland, Chile
- FSIS Raw Pork Products Sampling Program; Notice
- Dried Prunes Produced in California; Suspension of the Marketing Order
- U.S. Grade Standards for Pecans in the Shell and Shelled Pecans
- Olives Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
- FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Status Update
- FSIS Updates Lists of Foreign Establishments Eligible to Export to U.S.
- FDA Import Alerts
- FDA Warning Letters
FDA Prior Notice Guidance Published
FDA is announcing the availability of a final guidance entitled “Prior Notice of Imported Food Questions and Answers (Edition 4): Guidance for Industry.” The guidance document updates the current version of the guidance by including three additional questions. One question relates to any effect systems recognition or equivalency determinations have on prior notice requirements. The other two questions relate to FDA’s notice to a submitter or transmitter of prior notice of an FDA refusal for inadequate prior notice or hold, if the food article is from a foreign facility that is not registered and addresses the timeframe for making requests for FDA review of such refusal or hold.
Food Additive Petitions on Vitamin D3, Sodium Alginate Submitted
FDA is announcing that they have filed petitions, submitted by Kerry, Inc. and Kerry Ingredients and Flavours Ltd., proposing that the food additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of sodium alginate as a stabilizer and thickener in plant protein products at a level not to exceed 3 percent and vitamin D3 as a nutrient supplement in powdered drink mixes added to water or carbonated water, excluding drinks or drink mixes that are specially formulated or processed for infants.
FSIS Releases Foreign Audit Reports on Poland, Chile
FSIS maintains a list of comprehensive audits of foreign country inspection systems to ensure compliance with certain regulatory requirements. Chile and Poland have been added to that list.
FSIS Raw Pork Products Sampling Program; Notice
FSIS is reissuing this notice to inform inspection program personnel (IPP) that sampling under the Raw Pork Products Sampling Program will continue with several changes. Changes include reducing the total number of sampling tasks assigned to establishments, clarifying the description of primal and subprimal cuts and finished products, describing that IPP are to verify the intended use of raw pork products in the Public Health Information System, and clarifying instructions to IPP when the total weight of cut products is greater than 2 lbs.
Dried Prunes Produced in California; Suspension of the Marketing Order
This proposed rule would suspend the Federal marketing order regulating dried prunes produced in California effective at the beginning of the 2023-2024 crop year. After operating for 18 years without handling regulations, the Prune Administrative Committee recommended the Agricultural Marketing Service indefinitely suspend the Order. After reviewing the Committee’s recommendation, AMS determined that regulatory suspension with a sunset provision of seven years is appropriate. This suspension period would extend through the end of the 2029-2030 crop year and would provide industry sufficient time to assess whether the Order’s reinstatement is beneficial.
U.S. Grade Standards for Pecans in the Shell and Shelled Pecans
AMS is proposing to revise the U.S. Standards for Grades of Pecans in the Shell and the U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Pecans by replacing the current grades with U.S. Extra Fancy, U.S. Fancy, U.S. Choice, and U.S. Standard grades. The proposal also includes updating terminology, definitions, and defect scoring guides.
Olives Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This final rule implements a recommendation from the California Olive Committee to increase the assessment rate established for the 2023 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Status Update
This week’s updates are:
- For the outbreak of Salmonella Thompson (ref #1190) linked to a not yet identified product, the case count has increased from 64 to 67 and FDA has initiated traceback.
- For the outbreak of Salmonella Newport (ref #1179), the outbreak has ended, and the FDA investigation is closed. Based on CDC’s epidemiological investigation, ill people reported eating watermelon and/or cantaloupe before becoming sick and a majority of illnesses were geographically grouped in the Midwest. Investigators were unable to determine a specific product or source of contamination while the outbreak was still considered ongoing. Currently, there is no risk to the public, as all product is no longer on the market. As part of this investigation, samples were collected and analyzed. Three environmental samples collected from farms in the Southwest Indiana growing region were reported as positive and matched the strain of Salmonella Newport that caused illnesses in this outbreak. Additionally, samples collected from a farm of interest and surrounding areas were reported as positive for Salmonella and also matched strains that have caused previous outbreaks, including those discussed in the 2022 Outbreak Investigation Report of Salmonella Typhimurium Illnesses Potentially Linked to Cantaloupe. This year’s findings indicate continued presence of food safety concerns linked to melons from the Southwest Indiana growing region.
FSIS Updates Lists of Foreign Establishments Eligible to Export to U.S.
FDA Import Alerts
The latest FDA import alerts include food products due to the presence of salmonella, imported food products that appear to be misbranded, and more.