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FSIS Issues Directive Outlining New Public Health Risk Evaluation Methodology

Monday, June 1, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a directive introducing its new Public Health Risk Evaluation (PHRE) methodology, a decision-making process used by an Enforcement, Investigations and Analysis Officer (EIAO) to determine whether a District Office (DO) needs to conduct a Food Safety Assessment (FSA) based on data review by FSIS headquarter staff. The directive also provides instructions to an EIAO regarding ways to conduct and document PHREs in the Public Health Information System. Prior to conducting a PHRE, the FSIS Office of Data Integration and Food Protection (ODIFP) sends to the DO a prioritized list of establishments for scheduling FSAs. The DO may conduct PHREs for establishments not included on the ODIFP report. Under the new methodology, an EIAO will conduct a PHRE by evaluating an establishment's historical data using the PHIS PHRE report and other background information, and will document his or her recommendation regarding whether to conduct a FSA or if some other enforcement action is warranted. The directive requires the EIAO to develop an Assessment Plan if a FSA is deemed necessary. The PHRE procedures will be implemented beginning June 10, 2015.

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