The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the availability of a guidance document for manufacturing ready-to-eat, shelf-stable, fermented, salt-cured, and dried meat and poultry products that do not use cooking as the primary lethality step.

FSIS is seeking public comment on the guideline until July 5, 2023. The agency will host two webinars — 10-11 a.m. EDT May 15, and 2-3 p.m. EDT May 17, — to provide an overview of the guidance and an opportunity for participants to ask questions.

The guideline addresses commonly asked questions concerning the food safety hazards associated with these products and the key steps in each process to ensure safety. Additionally, this guideline replaces and expands upon information previously found in other guidance documents addressing the safe production of RTE fermented meat and poultry products. Although the guideline focuses on the needs of small and very small establishments, all establishments can benefit from this information.

The webinar access information is available on the event pages linked above; registration is not required. Recordings of both webinars, along with presentation slides, will be posted on the FSIS website for those unable to attend.

FSIS seeks public comment on this guideline as part of its efforts to continuously assess and improve the effectiveness of policy documents. FSIS encourages establishments that produce these products to review the guideline. While the guidance document reflects the agency’s current recommendations, the agency may consider changes in response to comments.