May 2, 2016
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has completed the transfer of the domestic and import inspection program for siluriformes fish and fish products to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Siluriformes fish include fish commonly known as “catfish.” The primary inspection responsibility for Siluriformes fish was transferred to FSIS on March 1, 2016 for domestic producers and on April 15, 2016 for importers. FSIS is already working with firms associated with these types of fish and fish products.
This change was mandated by Congress in the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills. On December 2, 2015, FSIS published the final rule, “Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived from Such Fish .” As this rule explains, fish of the order Siluriformes are amenable to the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601(w) (2)), and the rule establishes the mandatory inspection program and its regulatory requirements.
The FDA and FSIS will continue working to coordinate their responsibilities for the regulatory oversight of seafood.