The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced two steps designed to prevent meat products that contain illegal residues from reaching consumers: the issuance of a compliance guide that will help livestock slaughter establishments avoid purchasing animals with illegal drug or other chemical residues; and increased testing of animals from producers with a history of residue violations.
"This new residue guidance will help industry to prevent certain animals from entering the marketplace and will contribute significantly toward our goal of protecting consumers," USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen said. "Coupled with increased testing of those with a history of violations, we are providing a pathway for those producers to correct deficient practices."
The residue compliance guide is intended for all livestock slaughter establishments, particularly those for dairy cows and bob veal calves, which account for the majority of residue violations. The guide outlines basic measures that slaughter establishments can employ to prevent or reduce residues in livestock.
FSIS administers the U.S. National Residue Program (NRP) to keep products with illegal residues from reaching consumers. As part of the announcement, FSIS stated that a key part of the NRP, the Residue Repeat Violator List, has been revised and streamlined to be more user-friendly. The list now includes only producers who have supplied more than one animal with an illegal residue level in the past year. FSIS is interested in receiving comments on the list, including how to improve its usefulness, and whether the Agency should provide additional information on producers who supply animals with violative residues.