It was a busy few days for FSIS getting out substantive food policy when the media and the public will likely not notice – See Press Release on Salmonella.
A few days ago, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) quietly denied the American Meat Institute’s (AMI’s) 2005 Petition to Recognize the Use of E-beam on Carcasses as a Processing Aid. In response the FSIS stated:
After reviewing the available information associated with this request (refer to attachment 1), FSIS believes that beef carcass geometry may lead to an uneven absorbed dose and is pertinent to the low dose aspect of the AMI petition, even though the petition did not provide a definition or criteria to use to define low dose or low penetration. In addition, because absorbed dose is accumulated upon each exposure of treated beef, such treated beef would need to be controlled in a manner to ensure that the total absorbed dose does not exceed the maximum approved absorbed dose. The petition did not address the control of potential multiple application of treatment. Consequently, FSIS has determined that the petition lacks sufficient detail to warrant investment in development of a rulemaking at this time. FSIS is denying the petition without prejudice. AMI may submit a revised petition for consideration addressing the issues discussed in greater detail in the attachment. Meanwhile, establishments can use the irradiation treatment on chilled beef carcasses as long as the product meets the requirements of 9 CFR 424.21 for total absorbed dose and 9 CFR 424.22 (c)(4) for labeling.