WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a notice asking inspectors of beef operations to fill out a questionnaire on “Raised Without Antibiotics” (RWA) claims. The questionnaire must be completed in the Public Health Information System (PHIS) by Aug. 18.

FSIS currently conducts an exploratory sampling program to check for compliance with the agency’s RWA claims on labels. The current program includes verification of negative hormone-usage claims coming from ground beef products and of nutritional labeling requirements when a product bears a nutrition facts panel.

The issued questionnaire will inform future sampling.

The questionnaire covers the following claims:

  • “No antibiotics”
  • “No Antibiotics Ever”
  • “No antibiotics added”
  • “No antibiotics administered”
  • “Raised without antibiotics”
  • “Antibiotic free”
  • “No Added Antibiotic”
  • “No Antibiotics in feed, water, or intra-muscular injection”
  • “Raised without antibiotics, pesticides, or added growth hormones”
  • “No added antibiotics or added hormones”
  • “No antibiotics administered, no growth stimulants or added hormones”
  • “No Antibiotics – No Added Hormones”
  • Other applicable claims indicating no antibiotic use

FSIS instructed inspectors to fill out the questionnaire and submit it during their next PHIS Establishment Profile task.

This notice follows an announcement from FSIS about attempts to strengthen the validation of animal-raising claims.