The Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued FSIS Notice 01-19, “Extension of Delayed Implementation of Verification of Revised Appendix A and B.”
The purpose of the notice reads as follows: “This notice replaces FSIS Notice 17-18. This new notice informs inspection program personnel (IPP) that establishments that use FSIS Appendix A and B as scientific support for lethality and stabilization procedures may continue to use the 1999 or 2017 versions until further notice. This notice also provides instructions for Enforcement, Investigation, and Analysis Officers (EIAOs) when performing Food Safety Assessments (FSAs) in establishments using FSIS Appendix A and B as scientific support. In the next few months, FSIS will announce in the Federal Register, the availability of updated versions of the lethality (Appendix A) and stabilization (Appendix B) guidance, respond to comments on the 2017 versions of this guidance, and announce dates when FSIS will begin to verify that those establishments that choose to use the safe harbors provided in this guidance as scientific support for their validated HACCP systems are using the information in the 2019 versions of the guidance.”
In 2017, FSIS issued revised versions of Appendix A and Appendix B:
1. FSIS Salmonella Compliance Guidelines for Small and Very Small Meat and Poultry Establishments that Produce RTE Products and Revised Appendix A (Appendix A).
2. FSIS Compliance Guideline for Stabilization (Cooling and Hot-Holding) of Fully and Partially Heat-Treated RTE and NRTE Meat and Poultry Products Produced by Small and Very Small Establishments and Revised Appendix B (Appendix B).
FSIS made changes to the 1999 versions of Appendix A and Appendix B to clarify the Agency’s cooking and cooling recommendations in response to commonly asked questions and more current scientific information.
The new notice states that FSIS is currently responding to comments received on the 2017 versions of Appendix A and B and will announce the response to comments and revisions to this guidance in the Federal Register when they are available.
FSIS is directing IPP that establishments may continue to use either the 1999 or 2017 versions of FSIS Appendix A and B as scientific support for lethality and stabilization procedures until further notice. IPP are not to issue a noncompliance record (NR) solely because the establishment uses the 1999 version of Appendix A or B as scientific support for its process, even if the establishment is using sections of the 1999 guidance that were updated in the 2017 guidance.
The FSIS notice is available at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/05853dc9-3551-401f-914d-c5940243f8cc/01-19.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
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