Seafood HACCP guidance revised
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a revised guidance for industry entitled “Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance.” It represents the agency’s current views on potential hazards in seafood products and how to control them, and is designed to assist seafood processors in the development of HACCP plans. Details are in the Federal Register of August 28 (66 FR 45318-45319). For more information, contact Anthony P. Brunetti at FDA, 200 C St., S.W., Washington, DC 20204 (phone 202-418-3150).
Small business compliance guides issued
FDA has issued two small entity compliance guides (SECGs) that use plain language to help small businesses understand regulations. “Food Labeling: Safe Handling Statements, Labeling of Shell Eggs; Refrigeration of Shell Eggs Held for Retail Distribution,” available at www.cfsan.fda.gov/dms/eggsguid.html, describes the rule requiring the labeling of shell eggs with a safe handling statement and the refrigeration of shell eggs at retail, and “Food Labeling; Serving Sizes; Reference Amount for Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Pectin,” www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/sodaguid.html, describes the nutrition labeling regulation that changed the reference amount customarily consumed per eating occasion for baking powder, baking soda, and pectin. Details are in the Federal Register of September 7 (66 FR 46802-46803). For more information, contact Geraldine A. June (phone 202-205-4168) regarding egg labeling, Nancy S. Bufano (202-401-2022) regarding egg refrigeration, or Lori A. LeGault (phone 202-205-5269).regarding baking powder labeling, all at FDA, 200 C St., S.W., Washington, DC 20204.
No change in disease list
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published its annual update on infectious and communicable diseases that are transmitted through handling the food supply. No changes have been made since the previous update in September 2000. Details are in the Federal Register of September 10 (66 FR 47030-47031). For more information, contact Art Liang at CDC, 1600 Clifton Rd., N.E., Atlanta, Ga. 30333 (phone 404-639-2213).
Agricultural policy report issued
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has issued a report entitled “Food and Agricultural Policy: Taking Stock for the New Century” that details the enormous changes that have taken place in agriculture which continue to accelerate across the American food and farm sector. The report recommends that policy makers take stock to examine past policies and programs and, where necessary, define goals and principles that can best guide the future growth and development of the farm, food, and agriculture industry in the new century. More information is available at www.usda.gov.
Poultry antimicrobial approved
FDA is allowing 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, in response to a petition filed by Ecolab, Inc. Details are in the Federal Register of September 19 (66 FR 48208-48209). For more information, contact Robert L. Martin at FDA, 200 C St., S.W., Washington, DC 20204-0001 (phone 202-418-3074).
Online notification system launched
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has launched a new online notification system that will provide electronic status reports on testing samples taken from meat, poultry, and egg product establishments. The Laboratory Electronic Application for Results Notification system allows FSIS staff, field personnel, establishments, and state officials to electronically monitor information on species identification, food chemistry, microbiological samples, and completed Salmonella/HACCP sets. The system tracks each sample as it is received and analyzed, and the results are reported. The reports state whether a microbiological test—such as Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products or Escherichia coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef products—initially indicates the presence of a pathogen. When confirmation testing on a potential or presumptive positive is complete, a report with the final analysis is posted.
Imported produce to require certification
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing to require that a phytosanitary certificate accompany all fruits and vegetables imported into the United States, with certain exceptions. This proposal would include commercial produce imported into the U.S., as well as fruits and vegetables brought in by travelers. Fruits and vegetables that are dried, cured, frozen, or processed, as well as fruits and vegetables that travelers and shoppers bring into the United States for personal use through land ports of entry located along the Canadian and Mexican borders, would be exempt. Deadline for comments is October 29, 2001. Details are in the Federal Register of August 29 (66 FR 45637-45648). For more information, contact Wayne D. Burnett at USDA/APHIS, 4700 River Rd., Riverdale, MD 20737-1236 (phone 301-734-6799).
by NEIL H. MERMELSTEIN