By Casey Wooten
Nov. 7 — The Agriculture Department office tasked with inspecting meat, poultry and eggs for foodborne pathogens is set to expand its testing as part of its five-year strategic plan.
In its report, the Food Safety and Inspection Service laid out a broad agenda that would increase inspections, toughen food safety standards and expand processes for evaluating imported food products covered by the agency.
“FSIS is expanding the breadth, depth, and frequency of its sampling to better address gaps in testing for pathogens and chemical residues in FSIS-regulated products,” the agency said in the Nov. 4 report.
The agency plans to toughen pathogen reduction standards, increase the percentage of establishments at which FSIS collects samples and streamline its testing process to reduce duplication, the report said.
The agency said it will put a priority on large-scale facilities like retail and warehouse locations.
“With several hundred to thousands of in-commerce facilities that handle FSIS-regulated products in every State, FSIS, with State and local regulatory agencies, must strategically utilize regulatory resources to maximize coverage and efficiencies to ensure that food remains safe as it moves through the supply chain from production to actual consumption,” FSIS said.
FSIS said it would also update its method for estimating illnesses attributed to products the agency inspects, making the data less sensitive to year-to-year fluctuations.
“These updates will provide greater transparency and understanding regarding the pathogens causing the majority of estimated illnesses, facilitating a more detailed assessment of agency progress,” FSIS said.
FSIS said it anticipates an increase in the number of foreign meat and poultry inspection programs looking for an equivalence determination, which is needed for products inspected by the programs to be imported into the U.S. In response to the projected increase, FSIS plans to ramp up resources on imports.
“To strengthen existing efforts in sampling and testing imported products, FSIS will deploy sample collection models that will best inform exposure of the public to food safety hazards from eligible countries and individual certified establishments in those countries,” FSIS said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Casey Wooten in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the FSIS plan is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/317d14d6-1759-448e-941a-de3cbff289e5/Strategic-Plan-2017-2021.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)