The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has posted a new Compliance Guide on its website to prevent drug residue in livestock slaughter operations. FSIS has also made changes to its Residue Repeat Violator List and its testing of animals from producers under injunction from FDA for practices that have led to drug residue violations. Slaughter establishments, particularly those that slaughter domestic or imported dairy cows and bob veal calves, should review the Compliance Guide for changes needed to their current HACCP plans and to comment on the new Compliance Guide if needed.

The compliance guide outlines basic measures that slaughter operations should take to prevent acceptance of animals with violative residues. The operations should:

  1. confirm producer history
  2. buy animals from producers who have a history of providing residue-free animals and have effective residue prevention programs
  3. ensure that animals are adequately identified to enable traceback
  4. supply information to FSIS at ante-mortem inspection showing that animals did not come from repeat violators and
  5. notify producers in writing of their animals are found to have either violative residues or detectable levels that do not exceed the tolerance levels established by FDA and FSIS.

The Revised Residue Violator List now only includes producers found to have provided more than one animal with violative residue during the previous 12 month period and has been divided into two sections: one for agency inspectors which includes details on residue findings, and one for industry that simply lists the producers that have been the source of multiple animals with residue violations. FSIS indicates that if an establishment does not follow the compliance guide and is found to have violative residues, the establishment’s HACCP system may be found inadequate under 9 CFR 417.6.

FSIS has recently increased testing at establishments with violations associated with the same producer or that fail to adhere to the compliance guide, and also intends to increase inspections of animals from producers under injunction obtained by FDA because of drug use practices that have led to residue violations.

Comments are due June 25, 2012.