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AMI Supports Modernization of Poultry Inspection as Part of Comprehensive Food Safety Program; Offers Feedback on Implementation

Thursday, May 31, 2012

(American Meat Institute)

The American Meat Institute (AMI) offered support for the new USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection proposed rule (MPSI).

“AMI has a history of supporting science-based manufacturing practices that have been shown to improve food safety.” AMI said in comments filed with the agency. “The process that FSIS has used to develop the proposal, including collecting data over a 10-year time period, then publishing the proposal for comment cannot be faulted.”

In the comments, AMI noted that the proposal should be considered a part of a comprehensive food safety program that includes the recently implemented Public Health Information System (PHIS) and performance standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in broilers and turkeys. These programs provide additional regulatory oversight and support for the safety of poultry products, which did not exist two years ago.

“The beef industry has developed a multiple hurdle approach, using more than one intervention in a process, to address pathogen intervention application. Applying this concept to the proposal, MPSI is part of a multi-hurdle approach to regulatory enforcement. Because of these recent regulations, consumer confidence in products produced by the poultry industry and regulated by FSIS should remain high during implementation of this proposal and comment period,” AMI said.

Regarding implementation, AMI emphasized the importance of communication. AMI also suggests that operating parameters should not be restrictive and requests clarification of the role of off-line inspector personnel.

“In general, the American Meat Institute supports new inspection methodology based on sound science. When inspections methods are changed AMI supports transition and implementation practices that are not disruptive to the industry while not compromising public health. AMI members remain committed to producing safe meat and poultry products, which allows consumers to feed family and friends with confidence,” the comments concluded.

To view the comments, go to http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/78734

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