Many consumers make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy. The Checkoff funded Eat Better. Eat Veal. promotion encourages consumers to visit Veal Made Easy which features delicious, healthy recipes and the new Thai Veal Lettuce Wraps created by our blogger partner, The Daring Gourmet. The new recipe is not only healthy and delicious; it is only 73 calories per serving. The promotion, reinforcing veal’s awareness and usage, has really resonated with our consumers. To date the sweepstakes has generated more than 30,000 entries and 13,000 unique website visits.
VEAL QUALITY ASSURANCE
Veal Quality Assurance Webinar Scheduled for February 26
An informational webinar on Veal Quality Assurance has been scheduled for February 26 at 1 pm Eastern. The webinar is designed specifically for veterinarians and industry representatives who play a key role in certifying veal growers. The updated resources and program requirements will be reviewed during this webinar. Contact VQA program manager Donna Moenning at donnam@LookEast.com to secure your spot in the webinar. Updated certification materials will be added to the VealFarm website following the webinar.
NEWS AND EVENTS
Veal Summit Announced. The North American Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, will conduct the Fifth Annual Summit for all Veal Producer, Packer, Processor, Distributor, Retail and Food Service Partners and State Beef Council Staff. The purpose of the Summit is to provide an update on the FY 2018 veal promotion and Veal Quality Assurance programs, seek input on research and promotion efforts for FY 2019 and conduct an information exchange on the major issues that most affect the veal industry. The Summit meeting information is as follows:
DATE: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
TIME: 7:30 AM until 3:00 PM EDT
PLACE: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia – Valley Forge
301 West DeKalb Pike
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, 19406
Additional information, including an agenda and lodging information, for the Veal Summit will be forwarded in the near future. All interested parties are encouraged to attend this important event to help develop a roadmap for future veal demand enhancement programs and to strengthen dialogue among industry partners. If further information is needed, please contact Bill Sessions at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on 703/881-1030.
Update Presentations at CBB Winter Meeting. Vice President of Regulatory and Scientific Programs Susan Backus presented the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education (FMPRE) authorization request updates to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) at the recent Cattle Industry Convention in Phoenix, Arizona on February 1-2. NAMI and FMPRE are both contractors to the Beef Checkoff. The updates included information about the status of ongoing processed beef and veal promotion campaigns, the Veal Quality Assurance Program, and detailed current post-harvest beef safety research projects, which are funded by the Beef Checkoff.
New Meat MythCrusher Video Discusses Role of Processed Meat in the Diet. The North American Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, recently released a new Meat MythCrusher video detailing the benefits of including processed meat products such as hot dogs, bacon, sausage and deli meats in a healthy, balanced diet. The video, which is the 52nd in the MythCrusher series, features Texas A&M nutrition expert Kerri Gehring, Ph.D., who explains the key nutrients processed meat products provide including protein, iron and Vitamin B12, among others. Dr. Gehring also reviews the data highlighted by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee showing that followers of the Mediterranean diet, which to many is considered the gold standard healthy diet, eat twice as much red meat/processed meat as those who follow the typical USDA food pattern. She discusses the many product choices available like bacon, hot dogs and deli meats and how to find information about the ingredients used. All of the Meat MythCrusher videos and a complimentary brochure covering the different meat myths are available at http://www.meatmythcrushers.com/
USDA, FDA Announce Formal Agreement to Bolster Collaboration. USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally agreed to make oversight of food more efficient and effective by bolstering coordination between the two agencies. The formal agreement, recently announced, details efforts to increase interagency collaboration, efficiency and effectiveness regarding produce safety and biotechnology activities. The agreement also tasks both USDA and FDA with identifying ways to streamline regulation and reduce inspection inefficiencies.
Specifically, the agreement commits USDA and FDA to better align and enhance their efforts to develop regulatory approaches to biotechnology, as each agency works to fulfill commitments outlined in the September 2016 National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products and the more recent Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Report. Additionally, the agreement calls for USDA and FDA to improve collaboration and cooperation regarding produce safety activities associated with implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act.
FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Public Warning and Notification of Recalls and Announces Move to Expedite Release of Recall Information. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance regarding public warning and notification of recalls, and announced steps to release recall information more quickly. The draft guidance provides recommendations to industry and FDA staff about the use, content and circumstances for issuing public warnings and public notifications, and discusses the parties responsible for issuing public warnings. The document’s recommendations apply to all voluntary recalls, including both firm-initiated and FDA-requested recalls, and covers food, dietary supplements, cosmetics and other FDA-regulated products. The guidance also details the release of retail consignee information as a component of public warnings of recalls. Meanwhile, FDA issued a blog post announcing its adoption of a new policy to release recall information in its weekly Enforcement Report, even when the recall has not yet been classified.
EPA Delays Timing of WOTUS Rule. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army (Army) finalized a rule adding an applicability date to the 2015 Clean Water Rule, also called “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The new applicability date will be two years after the final rule is published in the Federal Register and provides clarity and certainty about which WOTUS definition applies nationwide in response to recent judicial actions, according to EPA and the Army.
The Supreme Court last week unanimously ruled that cases litigating WOTUS must be filed in federal district courts rather than in federal appellate courts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2015 imposed a nationwide stay on the rule, effectively halting its implementation. The Supreme Court’s ruling, however, determined the Sixth Circuit lacked authority to issue a stay because federal appellate courts do not have original jurisdiction to review challenges to WOTUS. EPA and the Army are currently considering options to rescind the 2015 rule and revise the definition of WOTUS.
FDA Issues Guidance Documents to Help Importers and Food Producers Meet FSMA Requirements. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued five guidance documents to help importers and food producers meet key food safety provisions mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Two of these documents, a draft guidance and a Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG), are intended to help industry meet the requirements of the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) regulation. Importers are responsible for ensuring that their foreign suppliers use processes and procedures that provide at least the same level of public health protection as the preventive controls or produce safety regulations, if applicable, and to ensure that the suppliers’ food is not adulterated or misbranded with respect to allergen labeling. The SECG, meanwhile, offers specific guidance to small businesses.
The third draft guidance addresses the term “same level of public health protection” that is used in both the FSVP regulation and the Produce Safety regulation. This draft guidance provides a framework for determining the adequacy of a process, procedure or other action intended to provide the same level of protection as those required under the FSMA regulations for produce and for human or animal food.
The fourth guidance will help food facilities implement the supply-chain program requirements in FSMA’s hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls for human food regulation. FDA also issued guidance announcing it intends to exercise enforcement discretion regarding the application of the FSVP regulation to certain importers of grains brought into the U.S. as raw agricultural commodities.
FSIS Announces Webinar for Trading Partners, Foreign Establishments and Importers. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will host a conference February 20, 2018, in Washington, DC for trading partners, foreign establishments and importers. The conference, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., also will be available via webinar. The conference will provide an overview of the Label Submission and Approval System (LSAS) and generic labeling regulations. Additional discussion topics include amenability issues, nutrition labeling, animal raising claims and common problems seen at port-of-entry. To register to participate in the conference in person or via webinar, email email@example.com
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