USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr Elisabeth Hagen said: “This new residue guidance will help industry to prevent certain animals from entering the marketplace and will contribute significantly toward our goal of protecting consumers. Coupled with increased testing of those with a history of violations, we are providing a pathway for those producers to correct deficient practices.”
Increased testing will apply to animals from producers that have been identified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as producing livestock with residue violations. FSIS had previously increased testing for suppliers whose practices have resulted in residue violations, and recently enhanced residue controls in establishments that fail to apply adequate measures.
The residue compliance guide is meant for all slaughtering plants, and outlines the basic measures they can take to reduce or prevent residues in livestock. It will be published on the agency’s website today (25 April).
As part of its National Residue Programme (NRP), FSIS has also updated and revised its residue repeat violators list, which now includes only producers who have supplied more than one animal with an illegal residue level in the past year.
In the past two years, FSIS has taken various measures to improve food safety, including the modernisation of the poultry inspection system, the implementation of performance standards for food-borne illnesses in poultry establishments, and zero tolerance for ground beef products infected with E.coli O26, O103, O45, O111, O121 and O145, which are strictly prohibited from entering the food chain.