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FSIS Announces New Approach for Residue Testing

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

(American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) yesterday announced a new approach to testing for chemical residues in meat, poultry and egg products.  Through its National Residue Program (NRP), the new method will allow the agency to test one sample for as many as 55 pesticide chemicals, 9 kinds of antibiotics, various metals, and eventually more than 50 other chemicals.  Previously the agency pulled 300 of samples from 300 of animals and test for one chemical at a time.

FSIS is also revamping its scheduled sampling program to increase the annual number of samples per slaughter class from 300 to 800.  If an establishment has samples containing illegal residue levels, FSIS will notify the Food and Drug Administration, which may review practices of producers supplying the establishment with livestock or poultry, and FSIS may subject the establishment to increased testing and review.

“Data from USDA’s residue sampling program overall show strong compliance with residue regulations.  Expansion of the testing program should provide more information about where further improvements can be made and should offer consumers additional reassurances about the safety of the U.S. meat and poultry supply,” said AMI Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel Mark Dopp.

The announcement is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on July 6.  The new testing regimen is expected to take effect 30 days after the Federal Register notice is published. The USDA press release is available here: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_070212_02/index.asp

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