NATIONAL MEAT ASSOCIATION h 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612
Edited by Brent A. Langman
Date March 3, 2003
NMA ROLLS INTO VEGAS
TODAY’S AFTERNOON EVENTS…
12:30pm-1:30pm - General Session
Keynote speaker Dr. Merle Pierson, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety
1:45pm-6:30pm - Exhibit Hall Grand Opening
3:30pm-4:30pm – Specialty Meetings
5:00pm-6:30pm. – Wine Tasting/Welcome Reception
9:00am-2:30pm - Exhibit Hall Open
2:45pm-4:00pm. – Track II Roundtable Seminars
4:15pm-6:00pm. – Board of Directors Meeting
Guest speaker: Dr. Garry McKee, FSIS Administrator
7:00pm-9:30pm – Annual Gourmet Sausagefest
The NMA Golf Tournament featured the largest group of
players to date. Held at the
fantastic Rio Secco Golf Course, this annual outing is the launch event for NMA’s MEATXPO and Annual Convention. Featuring 58 golfers, the award for longest drive went to Vito Santoro, Cryovac-Sealed Air Corp., Duncan, SC. Closest to the hole honors went to John Linker of Alaniz and Schraeder, L.L.P., Houston, TX.
“People who get in trouble in RTE operations didn’t monitor their facilities 24/7.”
-- Steve Goodfellow, Deibel Laboratories, Sarasota, FL.
COOL, better know as Country-of-Origin-Labeling, was a major topic of discussion at the Beef Committee meeting. COOL, currently a voluntary program, becomes mandatory September 30, 2004, however this legislation is fraught with problems. Barry Carpenter, deputy administrator, AMS-USDA, was on hand to explain the program.
Part of the 2002 Farm Bill, this retail labeling law requires that all fresh and frozen meat products carry a country-of-origin-label that can be verified with proper documentation. The burden falls on products to be sold at retail only. In addition, product that is reformulated or materially changed in any manner is also excluded.
Interestingly, retail is defined by establishments that sell more than $230,000 worth of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables a year. This definition applies to approximately 31,000 retail establishments.
More than 100 attendees were up and ready to start the day at today’s early morning Food Safety Committee meeting. The meeting room was so crowded, Committee Chairman Lou Gast, HACCP Consulting Group, L.L.C., Fairfax, VA, started the session with a standing room only crowd. As more attendees arrived, the wall to the neighboring room was removed to accommodate the overflow crowd.
In a presentation by Michaelle Fisher, director of the Technical Service Center, FSIS-USDA, the Committee was updated on the activities at the Technical Center. According to Fisher, the Center’s goal is to communicate with customers – meat companies, field staff, and consumers -- in a correct and timely manner. To help improve consistency among field staff, the Technical Center has begun to track questions and share the information to promote great consistency in interpretation of regulations.
A Listeria Reassessment presentation by Bob Galbraith, HACCP Consulting Group, covered the new requirements for controlling this pathogen. “This is a new era. We need to hit it head on. We need to evaluate new interventions that are coming to market to meet the requirements of the new regulations and these program needs to be science based,” he said.
In other presentations, Bob Savage, president of the HACCP Consutling Group, spoke about FSIS Notice 44-02 – Instructions for Verifying E. coli O157:H7 Reassessment. Dr. Kerri Harris, executive director of the International HACCP Alliance presented the decision making documents developed at Texas A&M for use by industry to improve HACCP plans.