Food Safety Magazine

News | May 9, 2014

FDA Passes Oversight Responsibilities for Siluriformes Fish to FSIS

FDA Passes Oversight Responsibilities for Siluriformes Fish to FSIS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced that they have established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) intended to facilitate the transfer of primary regulatory oversight over Siluriformes fish and fish products — including commercial catfish, basa, pangasius, and swai/tra — from FDA to FSIS. This MOU was created at the instruction of Congress.

The MOU states in part, the following:

  • The agencies will plan for an orderly, phased transition of primary regulatory oversight over Siluriformes fish and fish products.
  • In dual jurisdiction establishments that prepare, pack, hold, otherwise handle both Siluriformes fish and fish products and other fish and fish products, the agencies will follow the procedures for dual jurisdiction establishments set out in previously established MOUs.
  • The agencies will coordinate in issuing regulations and guidance and in conducting outreach specific to Siluriformes fish and fish products.
  • FDA will continue to exercise regulatory oversight over all other fish and fish products.

According to an FDA press release, FDA and FSIS will continue to provide updates pertaining to the transfer of primary regulatory oversight over Siluriformes to FSIS via Constituent Updates and other mechanisms. For more information, see the MOU here.