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FSIS Grants AMI Petition to Require Plants to Control Products Tested By Agency Until Results Are Received

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced a tentative conclusion to  grant a 2008 request from the American Meat Institute (AMI) to require that companies control products that have undergone agency sampling and testing for adulterants until the results are known.  

AMI’s request, originally made in a 2008 letter to then Under Secretary Richard Raymond, was reiterated to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack in October 2009, and reflected the voluntary practices of AMI’s members.  In 2005, an AMI-led coalition wrote to small and very small plants nationwide providing copies of the Institute’s test and hold best practices and encouraging them to adopt that policy as well.

“We are pleased that USDA has indicated that it will make mandatory our voluntary test and control procedures,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle.  “We believe that this policy will prevent needless recalls, further ensure food safety and maintain consumer confidence.”

The notice provides for a 90-day comment period and, if finalized, will become effective at an unspecified date following the close of the comment period.   The notice may be viewed at the following link:  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/2005-0044.pdf

USDA indicated 44 recalls that occurred between 2007 and 2009 could have been prevented if product had been held. 

To read AMI’s 2008 letter to Raymond, click here:  http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/13070

To read AMI’s 2009 letter to Vilsack, click here: http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/54244

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