Log in Subscribe Join Grass Roots Action

FSIS Issues Inspection and Surveillance Backgrounder

Friday, February 29, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today issued a backgrounder regarding interim and long term steps it is taking in the wake of the USDA investigation at the Hallmark/Westland facility.

FSIS is implementing several interim actions concerning humane handling activities including: increasing the time allocated per shift by inspectors to verify humane handling activities in ante-mortem areas; conducting surveillance activities to observe animal handling outside approved operating hours from vantage points within and adjacent to the official premises; and issuing a notice to inspectors regarding work methods for conducting humane handling verification activities. 

The agency indicated that it will prioritize surveillance and inspection activities based on livestock category, humane handling data, observations at the facility and the establishment’s operating schedule with a focus on surveillance and inspection activities at establishments where older or potentially distressed animals are slaughtered, specifically citing dairy or veal cattle. 

The nine Humane Activities Tracking System categories used by FSIS are: adequate measures for inclement weather; truck unloading; water availability (and feed, if applicable); handling during ante-mortem inspection; handling of suspect and disabled livestock; electric prod/alternative object use; observations for slips and falls; stunning effectiveness; and checking for conscious animals on the rail prior to processing.

To view the backgrounder in its entirety, click here: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_022908_01/index.asp

 share on facebook  share on twitter