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FSIS Will Extend Comment Period on Draft Guidance for HACCP System Validation

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

(American Meat Institute)

FSIS has confirmed that the agency will extend the comment period on its Draft Guidance: HACCP System Validation until June 19, 2010, to allow adequate time for distribution and comment by interested parties. The draft guidance to aid small and very small plants in meeting HACCP validation requirements was provided for public comment in a March 19, 2010, letter to AMI and other industry trade associations. After the initial comment period, FSIS is expected to publish a revised guidance document in the Federal Register that will provide an additional opportunity for public comment.

The guidance document has raised concern regarding potential additional requirements imposed on plants. "AMI is pleased that the agency has given the industry an opportunity to express its concerns during the development of its validation guidance. AMI looks forward to working with the agency to develop a workable document that provides clarity for both the industry and FSIS personnel. It is important that all parties have a clear understanding of the regulatory requirements and how they should be implemented," said AMI Executive Vice President James Hodges.

The March 19 letter signed by FSIS Administrator Almanza responds to an earlier September 22, 2009 letter sent by meat and poultry trade associations that contained suggestions for clarifying existing validation requirements. The draft guidance and associated information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/HACCP_Validation_Ltrs.pdf


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