The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) has released a guidance document for manufacturing ready-to-eat (RTE), shelf-stable, fermented, salt-cured, and dried meat and poultry products that do not use cooking as the primary lethality step.

FSIS is seeking public comment on the guideline until July 5, 2023. The agency will host two webinars to provide an overview of the guidance and an opportunity for participants to ask questions. The webinars will take place on:

The guideline addresses commonly asked questions concerning the food safety hazards associated with the covered products and the key steps in each process to ensure safety. Additionally, the guideline replaces and expands upon information previously found in other guidance documents addressing the safe production of RTE fermented meat and poultry products. Although the guideline focuses on the needs of small and very small establishments, all establishments can benefit from the information provided.

Registration is not required to attend the webinars. Recordings of both webinars, along with presentation slides, will be posted on the FSIS website for those unable to attend.

FSIS is seeking public comment on the guideline and encourages establishments that produce the covered products to review the guideline. While the guidance document reflects the agency’s current recommendations, the agency may consider changes in response to comments.