AMS's new meat and poultry equipment certification program, launched January 8th is off to a flying start, according to an AMS official.
"We are extremely
pleased with the volume of certification
service applications we have received so far.
We already have our reviewers in the field with
manufacturers. We are even more pleased by the
number of telephone inquiries we have received
from both manufacturers and meat processors,"
commented Tracy Schonrock, head of the AMS
Once a mandatory
program, AMS developed a voluntary, user-fee
funded equipment certification program under
the authority of the Agricultural Marketing Act
of 1946. The agency discontinued the
22-year-old mandatory prior approval of
equipment and utensils in 1997 in an effort to
remove conflicting regulations when HACCP was
introduced industrywide. The agency also wished
to provide federally inspected establishments
with the flexibility to use equipment and
utensils designed in the manner they deemed
would best maintain a sanitary environment for
food production without having to seek prior
approval. After the program was discontinued,
livestock and poultry product producers
expressed a desire to either continue the FSIS
program or develop a new program.
AMS program offers a voluntary, third-party
review of the cleanability and sanitation
features of equipment used in the processing of
meat and poultry processing products. For more
information on this service, contact Schonrock
AMS Equipment Approval Program Up and RunningThursday, February 1, 2001