The Beef Checkoff funded veal program partnered with the Pennsylvania State Beef Council at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Delicious hot beef and veal sundaes were featured at the PA Preferred Culinary Connection Stage. Checkoff branded veal recipe cards, cutting mats and tote bags were distributed to all that stopped by. Consumer attitudes towards veal was captured through surveys conducted during the show.
In the NEWS
MyMeatUp App Launches; Generates Positive Media Coverage, Feedback. The North American Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, launched its new MyMeatUp app with a broad release to mainstream media outlets as well as college publications. The launch commenced a larger marketing strategy for the app over the next several months. The app received extensive media coverage and generated interest from several retailers who asked to incorporate it into their meat marketing efforts. MyMeatUp is the first-of-its-kind mobile app aimed at helping consumers become more confident when buying beef, veal, pork and lamb. To download the iPhone version, click here. The Android version is available here.
FDA Solicits Comments on Proposal to Establish Targeted Durations for Use of Medically Important Antimicrobials. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) is seeking comments on its proposal to establish appropriately targeted durations of therapeutic use of medically important antimicrobials administered in the feed or water of food-producing animals. FDA is soliciting comments on six specific questions regarding the animals at risk, current industry practices, sources of information used when making treatment decisions, pros and cons of determining specific treatment durations of each drug and suggested alternatives for antimicrobial use for treatment of the diseases listed. FDA identified six species (cattle, swine, chickens, turkeys, sheep and honey bees) for which medically important antimicrobials are approved, but lack a defined duration of use on the label. Comments are due to FDA by March 13, 2017.
FDA Announces Public Meeting on Use of the Term ‘Healthy’ in the Labeling of Human Food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public meeting March 9, 2017, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., in Rockville, Maryland, regarding the use of the term “healthy” in the labeling of human food. Redefining “healthy” is part of an overall plan to provide consumers with information and tools to enable them to easily and quickly make food choices consistent with public health recommendations and to encourage the development of healthier foods by the industry, according to FDA. Food manufacturers can continue to use the term “healthy” on foods that meet the current regulatory definition while FDA considers how to redefine the term as a nutrient content claim. For more information, click here.
SENASICA and Mexican Security Commission Sign Agreement. The National Service of Animal Health, Food Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and the Mexican Security Commission signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation to monitor the importation of agricultural products to Mexico. The agreement includes provisions to enhance the exchange of information between the two agencies to ensure the adequate inspection of products of animal and plant-based origin that enter into Mexico and that are transported throughout the country. The agreement instructs SENASICA officials, in collaboration with Mexican federal police units, assigned to ports, airports, roads and border entry points to identify goods that could jeopardize food production systems or public health in Mexico.
FSIS Proposes Revisions to Nutritional Fact Panel for Meat and Poultry Products. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products to align them with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final nutrition regulations, which were published on May 27, 2016. FSIS is also proposing to update the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared and is providing Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intake (RDI) values that are based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports.
In addition, FSIS is proposing to revise the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label; amend the definition of a single-serving container; require dual-column labeling for certain containers; and update and modify several reference amounts customarily consumed. Finally, FSIS is proposing to consolidate the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products into a new Code of Federal Regulations part. Comments are due by March 20, 2017.
USDA Finalizes Organic Animal Welfare Standards. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) amended the organic livestock and poultry production requirements by adding new provisions regarding the handling and transport of organic livestock and poultry intended for sale or slaughter. The new rule expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care, production practices and mammalian living conditions. Specifically, the new rule requires indoor and outdoor access for poultry, including minimum space requirements. Producers will have to provide birds with daily access to the outdoors, and those areas would have to include vegetation or soil. The new rule also bars some conventional farming practices like clipping hens’ beaks and pigs’ tails to make those animals easier to handle. Organic farmers will continue to be barred from administering antibiotics to their livestock. The rule becomes effective March 20, 2017, but will not be fully implemented until March 2018. Poultry and egg producers will have until 2020 to build new barns to meet the space requirement and add land for outdoor grazing.
USDA Seeks Comments on Proposal to Establish a New Organic Research, Promotion and Information Order. USDA is seeking comments on a proposal for a new industry-funded research and promotion program. The proposed Organic Research, Promotion and Information Order would cover certified organic products and would include a range of agricultural commodities, such as meat, poultry, fruit, vegetables, breads, grains, snack foods, condiments, beverages and packaged and prepared foods. It would also include non-food items, such as textiles, personal care products, pet food and flowers. Organic imports – both those certified under the USDA organic regulations and those entering the U.S. under an organic equivalency arrangement – would also be covered.
A 17-member board would be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to administer the program and would be responsible for developing, financing and coordinating activities to support research to benefit the organic industry, to raise consumer awareness of certified organic products in the marketplace and to improve access to information and data across the organic sector. For more information about this proposed rule, click here. Public comments on this program will be accepted through March 20, 2017.
USDA Proposes Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling Requirements for Venison. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to amend the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulation to add muscle cuts of venison and ground venison to the list of products covered under the labeling law. AMS is issuing this proposed rule to conform to amendments in the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as mandated by the Agricultural Act of 2014, which added muscle cuts of venison and ground venison to the list of covered commodities subject to mandatory COOL. In December 2015, Congress repealed the COOL regulations for muscle cuts of beef, pork and ground beef and pork. Public comments regarding this proposed rule are due by March 14, 2017.
U.S. Lifts Embargo on French Beef. The U.S. has lifted an embargo on French beef imports, following a ban instituted in 1998 due to concerns over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). France is the fourth European Union country to receive approval to export beef to the U.S., along with Lithuania, Ireland and the Netherlands. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) determined that France has implemented a raw beef products inspection system equivalent to FSIS’ domestic inspection system. FSIS concluded that France has comprehensive controls related to shiga toxin-producing E. coli for intact and non-intact beef. France is, therefore, now eligible to export raw beef derived from cattle slaughtered on and after December 6, 2016, to the U.S.
North American Countries Sign Agreement Reaffirming Mutual Recognition of Meat Inspection Systems. Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Alfred Almanza, Director in Chief of the National Service of Agro Alimentary Health, Safety and Quality Enrique Sanchez Cruz and Executive Vice President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Carolina Giliberti signed an agreement recognizing the inspection systems for meat products in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The agreement establishes a framework to foster a safer, more transparent commercial exchange of red meat, poultry and egg products among the three countries. The framework encourages producers and exporters of meat products in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to comply with regulations in the three countries.
Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education Sponsors Consumer Food Safety Education Conference. Staff from the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education and Meat Institute, both contractors to the Beef Checkoff, joined more than 400 food safety educators at the 2017 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference in Washington, DC. Foundation and Meat Institute fact sheets, brochures and other materials were provided to attendees, in addition to providing Beef Checkoff funded research materials and promotion of the BeefSafetyResource.Com website.
FDA and Partnership for Food Safety Education Create New Toolbox and Guide for Consumer Food Safety Educators. In collaboration with the Partnership for Food Safety Education, the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition released a new education resource, The Consumer Food Safety Educator Evaluation Toolbox and Guide, at the Consumer Food Safety Education Conference 2017.
The toolbox and guide contain tips, tools and examples to help consumer food safety educators plan, develop and evaluate their programs and activities. To download a complimentary copy of the toolbox and guide, click here.
MEETINGS, EVENTS AND EDUCATION
NAMI to Host Meat Pavilion at NGA Show. The North American Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, will host a Meat Pavilion as part of the 2017 National Grocers Association (NGA) Show, which is scheduled to take place February 12-15, 2017, at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Several of the Institute’s packer/processor member companies will showcase and serve their products in the pavilion. The 2017 NGA Show convenes independent retailers, wholesalers, food retail industry executives and food manufacturers to highlight cutting-edge tools, marketplace trends and best practices for the independent grocery industry. To register, and to view a full schedule of the show’s education sessions and events, click here.
Veal Quality Assurance
A Technical Advisory Group to review and update the Veal Quality Assurance (VQA) program has been assembled and held their first conference call in January. The 12-member group includes four veterinarians, three veal company representatives, two veal growers, two PhDs in animal science, and one dairy producer. Among the advisors are Dan Kniffen, PhD, Penn State University and Chairman of the National Beef Quality Assurance Program, and Beef Board member, Keith York, a Wisconsin dairy producer. If you are a veal grower or company that would like to be engaged in the process, please contact Donna Moenning at DonnaM@LookEast.com
The VQA Technical Advisory Group is charged with reviewing and updating the program manual and training to deliver relevant, science-based Best Management Practices to all those engaged in the raising, handling and marketing of veal. VQA ensures that milk-fed veal calves receive quality care through every stage of life and are raised using production standards that result in safe, wholesome, quality products that meet regulatory and customer expectations. The content review and update is planned to be completed Spring 2017.
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