USDA Changing Poultry Inspections

USDA Changing Poultry Inspections

New program will focus on areas that pose greatest risk.

In a shift that will save money for businesses and taxpayers while improving food safety, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is proposing a modernization of young chicken and turkey slaughter inspection in the United States. This new approach will focus FSIS inspection resources on the areas of the poultry production system that pose the greatest risk to food safety.

Currently, some FSIS employees in poultry establishments perform several activities which are unrelated to food safety, such as identifying visual defects like bruising, while others conduct the critical inspection activities. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says -by revising current procedures and removing outdated regulatory requirements that do not help combat foodborne illness, the result will be a more efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars.

Under the proposed plan, all FSIS inspection activities will focus on critical food safety tasks to ensure that agency resources are tied directly to protecting public health and reducing foodborne illnesses. Additionally, some outdated regulatory requirements are being removed and replaced with more flexible and effective testing and process control requirements. Finally, all poultry establishments will now have to ensure that their procedures prevent contamination in the production process and provide supporting data to FSIS personnel.

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