P.O. Box 620777; Oviedo, FL 32762 Phone: 407-365-5661

MARCH 2012

VOLUME 27, No. 3

FSIS Extending Implementation Date on Routine Sampling Program for Non-O157:H7

FSIS is extending for 90 days the implementation date for routine sampling of six additional STEC serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145); the implementation date will begin June 4.  The purpose of the extension is to provide additional time for establishments to validate their test methods and detect these pathogens prior to entering the stream of commerce

FSIS will initially sample raw beef manufacturing trimmings produced domestically and imported, and test the samples for the serogroups.  On September 13, 2011, USDA announced that if the serogroups are found in raw ground beef or its precursors, those products will be prohibited from entering commerce.

Date extended from March 5 to June 4, 2012

Part 1 – Major Changes to GFSI Standards in 2012

2012 is a year of major changes for some GFSI certification schemes. GFSI standards must be updated at least every three years. Both the SQF and BRC standards are changing in 2012. Whether you are already certified or working towards certification, you must be aware of which standard will be in effect during your initial or recertification audit to be certain you are compliant with the new standard requirements.

SQF is moving from Edition 6 to Edition 7 effective July 1, 2012. The final SQF 7th Edition and a Code Change Map was published on the SQFI web site in February 2012.  Substantial changes have been incorporated in the revised standard as SQF has made a revolutionary change combining the SQF 1000 and SQF 2000 standards combined into one standard. As a result, there is a complete reformatting of the Code and numbering schemes so the traditional Sections 4, 5, and 6 have been replaced with modules applicable to various food processing sectors. Modules 2 and 11 are the most common applying to all types of food processing, however, Module 9 will also be applicable for meat processing companies. The code standards will require rewriting and reformatting current SQF Policy Manuals to be compliant.

The other major change with the 7th Edition is that several procedures previously required only for Level 3 certification are now required for Level 2 certification.  Examples of these include the Product Development and Realization, Identity Preserved Foods, and Contract Manufacturers procedures. The only difference between Level 2 and Level 3 now will be the Food Quality Plan quality process control system required at Level 3. There are also numerous minor changes buried in the standard that are not identified in the Code Change Map. An example includes the Allergen Management requirements that now require a register of export countries and listing of their allergen requirements, and a requirement to assess food grade lubricants in the raw material hazard analysis. It will be necessary to review the standard in detail and reassess programs, as required, in order to become compliant.  Last, there have been changes to the scoring system again. On the positive side, there is no longer a point deduction for an OIP (opportunity for improvement) rating. On the negative side, the rating scale did not change so you still must score a 96% or higher to achieve an Excellent rating and the point deduction for minor non-conformances has increased. Changes have also been implemented to the SQF Auditor Criteria qualifications effective February 2012 to make auditor certification more stringent. The final standard and SQF Code Change Map has been published on the SQFI web site and available for download free at In addition, Chilton Consulting Group will be conducting a free Webinar in March to discuss changes to SQF standards. Webinar information will be available on our web site at

The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 6 became effective January 1, 2012. The changes in the BRC standard are minor and evolutionary rather than major and revolutionary as with the SQF standard. There is increased emphasis on GMP requirements, minor reformatting of numbering schemes and merger of some requirements. Another change is the ability to have voluntary unannounced audits with two options for a full unannounced audit or Option 2 two parts unannounced and announced audits.

There are other specific changes within the new standard including a site security risk assessment, site zones for risk plans requirement, additional foreign material contamination control and detection procedures, clarification of cleaning standard definition/validation, mandatory sign off for new products, enhanced allergen control, cleaning validation and training and requirements for temporary employee  training.

Other GFSI Schemes are available for companies planning to seek initial certification. The FSSC 22000 is gaining popularity, particularly to international companies and those with current ISO registrations. The IFS (International Food Safety) Standard has established a US office focused on education and increasing the number of IFS certifications. Each of these standards has similar GFSI certification requirements.  However the recertification process is less stringent with partial surveillance audits completed annually and full recertification audits completed only once every three years. This method of recertification makes these standards viable options to consider when choosing which standard to become certified in. To be successful, be certain you are aware of the current requirements for each standard and make sure your programs are fully compliant to the new requirements.

Part 2 – GFSI Implementation Tips Outline (if desired)
         GFSI standard implementation requirements
         4 Phases to Success Overview
         Phase 1 Gap Analysis
         Phase 2 Program Development
         Phase 3 Implementation Strategy
         Phase 4 Audit Support
         Conclusion
Please confirm and provided desired deadline date.

Provided by Jeff Chilton, Chilton Consulting Group

SEMA Opposes 2013 User Fees

The White House released the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2013.  The Administration has again asked for legislative authority for the Food Safety Inspection Service to levy user fees on meat, poultry, and egg product inspection.  Below is the language from the FY13 USDA Budget Summary:

User Fees and Trust Funds. In 2013, FSIS estimates it will collect $162 million through existing user fee and trust fund activities for providing overtime, holiday, and voluntary inspection services.  As proposed in the 2012 Budget, FSIS will submit legislative proposals for two user fees in 2013; a user fee collected from plants for additional inspections and related activities made necessary due to the failure in performance by the covered establishment, and a food safety services user fee that would recover a part of the cost of providing FSIS related services at covered establishments and plants, as determined by the Secretary and which would be based on the facility size.  Total annual collections from these proposals are estimated at about $13 million.

SEMA has signed a letter with AMI and other National and Regional Associations to oppose the 2013 user fees.

Things to Ponder
. . . . . .
Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?

            Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theatres by burning a cylinder of lime
             which produced a brilliant light.   In the theatre, a performer 'in the limelight' was the center of attention.

New FSIS Consolidation Map

FSIS released a map showing the field structure when district offices are reduced from 15 to 10.  The FSIS consolidation follows an announcement by Secretary Vilsack that USDA will close 259 domestic offices, facilities and labs across the country, as well as seven foreign offices as a cost-saving measure.  In addition to reducing costs, the FSIS consolidation will allow the agency to better balance workloads among circuits and districts. To review this map, go to

British Retail Consortium Global Standard (BRC Global Standard)

BRC Global Standard is one of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) approved certifications.  Since 2008 many retailers such as Wal-mart and other major retailers are requiring their suppliers to have one of the GFSI approved certifications such as SQF, BRC or FSC 22000.  The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety was developed to specify the safety, quality and operational criteria required to be in place within a food manufacturing organization to ensure the facility is meeting regulatory and consumer requirements.  Wal-mart and other retailer’s first required companies manufacturing their private label to have a GFSI certification and many chose either SQF or BRC.  They have expanded this from their private label manufacturers to other manufacturers selling their brands to the retailers.  For more information you can contact Bobby Pace with RDP Consulting at (706) 799-5279.

FSIS Directives & Notices

FSIS Notice 13-12 (Feb 14, 2012)
Sample Collection from Cattle under the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Ongoing Surveillance Program
FSIS Notice 08-12 (Feb 1, 2012)
Instructions for Verifying All Steps in the Processing of Ready-To-Eat Meat and Poultry Products
FSIS Notice 17-12 (Mar 2, 2012)
Verification of Antimicrobial Intervention Coverage of Carcass or Product at Veal Slaughter and Beef Fabrication Establishments
FSIS Notice 15-12 (Feb 28, 2012)
Verifying Nutrition Labeling For the Major Cuts of Single-Ingredient, Raw Meat and Poultry Products and Ground or Chopped Meat and Poultry Products

SEMA Scholarships Now open to SEMA members employee’s children

There is a new benefit to SEMA company members this year. SEMA has been giving scholarships to Southeastern University students and now SEMA is opening it up to our member companies for their employee’s children

Each year SEMA may give up to two $2,000.00 scholarships to deserving students. The student must be going into their junior or senior year, have a 2.5 or better grade point average and be majoring in Animal, Meat, or Food Science or Business Administration and plan on going into the Food Industry.

For a Scholarship Application call the office 407.365.5661

Approval of Labels to Meet New FSIS Labeling Regulation

Q: When the FSIS nutrition labeling final rule becomes effective, will the nutrition label that will be applied to the product be generically approved or will the establishment have to re-apply for a new sketch approval?

A: The establishment will have to apply for a label approval to add the nutrition facts to its single- ingredient or other ground products.  However, similar to what has been done in the past, once the establishment obtains one label approval with a four-ounce serving size; it can generically approve others from that one approval.

Ingredients of Public Health Concern

Q.:  What actions are to be taken by inspection program personnel (IPP) when they observe that an ingredient of public health concern has been included in the product formulation but is not included on the finished product label?

A.:  When inspection program personal (IPP) find the establishment used an ingredient of public health concern without properly listing the ingredient on the label, IPP are to perform the following activities:
Retain any of the affected product that is still on premises
Document noncompliance under the 'General Labeling' verification task in PHIS;
Contact their immediate supervisor to determine if a recall is necessary.
See FSIS Directive 8080.1, Recall of Meat and Poultry Products, Part VII for additional information
Perform a 'directed' HACCP Verification task with the purpose of assessing whether there is a systemic problem or an isolated incident.
See FSIS PHIS Directive 5000.1, Chapter III, Part II, and Subpart B.II for additional information.

Verifying all Steps in Processing RTE

FSIS issued Notice 08-12, Instructions for Verifying All Steps in the Processing of Ready-to-Eat Meat and Poultry Products. This Notice is a reissuance of the content of FSIS Notice 01-11 and provides Inspection Program Personnel with instructions for verifying that plant HACCP plans 1) adequately address all hazards inherent to the production of RTE products; 2) includes all steps in their hazard analysis; and 3) considered potential hazards from ingredients added to the product post lethality treatment. The reissuance is in response to several meat and poultry recalls associated with the addition of ingredients, spices, or sauce after the lethality process step.

The Notice instructs IPPs to not assume that non-meat ingredients are treated to address pathogens of concern and to be aware of possible post-lethality processing environment recontamination through contact with insanitary surfaces, improper handling by establishment employees, the addition of raw materials or ingredients after the lethality step, and contact with insect or animal vectors. Additionally, IPPs are to verify that plants have evaluated supplier interventions, checked purchasing specifications and performed any in-plant testing verification identified by the establishment as necessary.  A full copy of the notice may be obtained at

Things to Ponder . . . . .

ALABAMA . . . .  Was the first place to have 9-1-1, started in 1968. 
      NORTH CAROLINA . . . .  Home of the first Krispy Kreme doughnut. 
      FLORIDA . . . .  At 874.3 square miles, Jacksonville is the U.S.’s largest city. 
    SOUTH CAROLINA . . . .  Sumter County is home to the world's largest gingko farm. 
  TENNESSEE . . . . . Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry is the longest running live radio show in the world.
GEORGIA . . It was here, in 1886, that pharmacist John Pemberton made the first vat of Coca-Cola.

SEMA Member News

Swaggerty Sausage Co., ranked #14 out of the top 20 Breakfast Sausage/Ham Brands in a survey by Symphony (R) Group, a Chicago based market research group.  The report was in the February National Provisioner Magazine.

Azar Sausage Co., Jacksonville’s first family of sausages, made the cover story of the February Independent Processor Magazine.  The original recipes for Jacksonville’s Azar Sausage Co. were created in 1954 by founder John P. Azar.Azar Sausage Co. is now operating under its third-generation. Raymond and his sons; Phillip and John Azar.

Curwood: Four packages from Curwood, Inc., have garnered a total of six achievement awards―two gold and four silver―in the Flexible Packaging Association’s annual awards competition. The four packages are among 25 recognized by the FPA for innovation in flexible packaging materials, functionality and sustainability.

See full size image

SGS Systems & Service Certification
Public Training Brochure and Calendar for January-June of 2012.


For a copy of the training catalog click on the PDF Training Catalog icon.
For information or questions contact; Gary Ostrow, Southeast Regional Sales   Cell 561-613-1950.

Welcome New SEMA Member

C.O.P.P.S.  Associate Member
Center of the Plate Procurement Specialist (COPPS) is a boxed beef buying group that consolidates our customer’s purchasing power to give them the lowest possible cost on direct shipments from the major Midwestern beef suppliers. We pride ourselves on being the low cost alternative, as well as the industry leader in service before and after the sell.

Our negotiated corporate pricing keeps our customers ahead of their competitors in the market place. With over 40 years of experience in the beef industry we are able to provide you with daily market analysis, forecasting, and overall market knowledge that is unsurpassed. Our experience enables us to provide premium service throughout the sales process. 

To learn more about COPPS, please go to our web site at We have multiple references including customers in food service, and in the retail sector to share with you should you want to verify the savings we have shown people

Please contact us for a pricing comparison, and we look forward to earning your business. You can reach me, David Copeland, at 678-948-4173 or 404-597-9373.  

Things to Ponder  . . . . .

Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?

                    When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich.             
                    Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through
                       holes on the left.   Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the
                  buttons on the maid's right!   And that's where women's buttons have remained since.

SEMA Convention

Brasstown Valley Resort
Young Harris, GA

June 7-9, 2012

“Meeting the Challenge”

Brasstown Valley Resort

The convention will open Thursday, June 7th, with the “Taste of Good Southern Cooking” welcome reception.  Friday you can walk the exhibit hall as some 40 associate members will be on hand exhibiting the latest in technology.  Friday afternoon and Saturday morning there will be presentations on core-value in companies, brand marketing, exporting, immigration, homeland security, regulator update from USDA-FSIS, and a virtual plant tour.  The evenings will be filled with food, fun and friends.  The convention weekend is a great time to network with your peers.  The convention program is directed to owners, top management, department managers and next generation processors.

SEMA is a family-friendly association and there will be plenty to keep everyone busy at the Brasstown Valley Resort.

Mark your calendar to attend the SEMA convention.  Convention registration and information will be mailed to the SEMA membership and posted on the SEMA web site the end of March.


SEMA Board of Directors Meeting

St. Simons Island, GA

Mar. 3
SEMA 2012 Annual Convention 407.365.5661

Brasstown Valley Resort, GA

June 7-10
AAMP    Annual Convention
Crown Plaza,  St. Paul, Minnesota July 26-28

Univ of GA     Meat & Poultry Value-Added Processing & Safety                             
706.542.6673    Register by March 23rd, Limited to 40 people

Georgia Apr 24-26

Univ of FL      Southeast Processed Meat Workshop 352.392.4930            

Gainesville, FL May10-11

Chilton Consulting Group  Developing & Implementing HACCP-Basic Courses                             706.694.8325

  Apr 3-4