Year 12 | 27 January 2020 | TO ENTER | TO REGISTER

USDA expands drug residue testing for meat and poultry

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) has changed from single residue methods to multi-residue methods. These new methods will allow the USDA to test for 55 pesticides, 9 types of antibiotics, various metals and eventually more than 50 other chemicals from a single sample.

For the National Residue Program (NRP), the USDA has currently two sampling programs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 and will be adding an additional sampling program Tier 3 (

Tier 1 Program
The USDA will be increasing the number of samples being tested per slaughter class from 300 to 800 under the Tier 1 program. This basically means that under the Tier 1 program the USDA will test 6,400 samples through 12 multi-residue methods (MRM) across nine production classes of meat and poultry consumed domestically. Testing will be performed at the FSIS Eastern and Western labs.

Tier 2 Program
Tier 2 program is and will be an USDA inspector generated program whereby if an in-plant veterinarian suspects that an animal or carcass has a higher than allowable residue they perform an in-plant screening and if positive they send a sample to the FSIS Midwestern lab for confirmation. The Midwestern lab will no longer confirm the screening using the 7-plate bioassay method but will use the new multi-residue methods instead. Additionally, under the Tier 2 program, information obtained from other agencies and from the Tier 1 plan will be used for targeted sampling.

Additional Tier 3 Program
The USDA has established an additional Tier 3 plan, which will be a herd or flock targeted sampling plan. This plan is designed to determine the amount of chemicals (e.g. veterinary drugs) or unintentional environmental contaminants a herd or flock may have been exposed to.

The import sampling program for 2012 will be testing 500 samples under the Tier 1 program and 800 samples under the Tier 2 program.

The new MRM method will screen the analytes as the levels indicated in the chart in the SGS SafeGuardS bulletin, P. 2 (

Some of the new screening and confirmation methods are by UHPLC-MS/MS and these methods can be found in the USDA FSIS chemistry guidebook (

The restructuring of the National Residue Program (NRP) was published in the US Federal Register on 6 July 2012 and is effective since 5 August 2012.

by S. C.
12 september 2012, World News > America