Neil Mermelstein

Neil H. Mermelstein

Can use high-energy x-rays to inspect cargo containers containing food
The Food and Drug Administration is allowing use of high-energy x-rays (10 MeV or lower) to inspect cargo containers that may contain food, in response to a petition filed by Analytical Systems Engineering Corp. The agency has concluded that no detectable radioactivity will be induced in food when an x-ray energy of 10 MeV and a dose of 0.5 Gy are not exceeded. Details are in the Federal Register of April 10 (66 FR 18537-18539). For more information, contact Andrew J. Zajac at FDA, 200 C St., S.W., Washington, DC 20204 (phone 202-418-3095).

Irradiation of animal feeds approved
FDA is allowing irradiation of various animal feeds and feed ingredients to control microbial contaminants, in response to a petition by IBA Food Safety Div. (formerly Sterigenics International, Inc.). Details are in the Federal Register of April 10 (66 FR 18539-18540). For more information, contact John D. McCurdy at FDA, 7500 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855 (phone 301-827-0171).

Approval sought for use of antimicrobial agent on poultry
Ecolab, Inc., has asked FDA to allow use of a mixture of peroxyacetic acid, octanoic acid, acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, peroxyoctanoic acid, and 1-hydroxyethylidene-1,1-diphosphonic acid as an antimicrobial agent on poultry carcasses, poultry parts, and organs. Details are in the Federal Register of March 30 (66 FR 17430). For more information, contact Robert L. Martin at FDA, 200 C St., S.W., Washington, DC 20204-0001 (phone 202-418-3074).

Marketing permit for nonstandard salad dressing issued
FDA has issued a temporary permit to Kraft Foods, Inc., to market test a product designated as “salad dressing” that deviates from the standard of identity for salad dressing by the addition of potassium sorbate and reduction of the amount of egg by 2%. The permit will allow the company to measure consumer acceptance of the product, identify mass production problems, and assess commercial feasibility. Details are in the Federal Register of April 12 (66 FR 18957). For more information, contact Loretta A. Carey at FDA, 200 C St., S.W., Washington, DC 20204 (phone 202-205-4168).

May amend bottled water quality standard
FDA is proposing to amend its bottled water quality standard. Deadline for comments is June 11. Details are in the Federal Register of March 28 (66 FR 16858-16868 and 16884-16893). For more information, contact Lauren Posnick at FDA, 200 C St., S.W., Washington, DC 20204 (phone 202-358-3568).

Poultry performance standards comment deadline extended
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is extending until June 28 the deadline for comments on its proposed performance standards for the production of processed meat and poultry products. The agency proposed food safety performance standards applicable to all ready-to-eat (RTE) and partially heat-treated meat and poultry products, as well as environmental testing requirements to reduce the incidence of Listeria monocytogenes in RTE products. It also proposed to convert to performance standards the existing regulatory requirements for thermally processed, commercially sterile (most often canned) meat and poultry products and to rescind certain requirements requiring the elimination of trichina from products that contain pork. Details are in the Federal Register of April 13 (66 FR 19102-19104). For more information, contact Daniel Engeljohn at USDA/FSIS, 300 12th St., S.W., Washington, DC 20250 (phone 202-720-5627).

Ground meat and poultry nutrition labeling comment deadline extended
FSIS is extending until July 17 the deadline for comments on its proposed rule on nutrition labeling of ground or chopped meat and poultry products and single-ingredient products. Details are in the Federal Register of April 20 (66 FR 20213-20214). For more information, contact Robert Post at USDA/FSIS, Washington, DC 20250-3700 (phone 202-205-0279).

Inspection of ratites and squabs now mandatory
FSIS is requiring mandatory inspection of ratites (flightless birds such as ostriches, emus, and rheas) and squabs (young pigeons that have not yet flown). U.S. establishments slaughtering or processing ratites or squabs for human food will now be subject to mandatory requirements of the Poultry Products Inspection Act and will no longer need to pay a fee for inspection. Deadline for comments is July 2. Details are in the Federal Register of May 1. For more information, contact USDA/FSIS, 300 12th St., S.W., Washington, DC 20250-3700.

by NEIL H. MERMELSTEIN
Senior Editor

About the Author

IFT Fellow
Editor Emeritus of Food Technology
[email protected]
Neil Mermelstein