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FSIS Issues “Test and Hold” Rule Aimed at Curbing Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness

Monday, December 10, 2012

(American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today published in the Federal Register a notice and final policy statement, Not Applying the Mark of Inspection Pending Certain Test Results (Notice).

The Notice finalizes a tentative policy published in April 2011, that changes FSIS procedures such that it "will withhold its determination as to whether meat and poultry products are not adulterated and thus eligible to enter commerce, until all test results that bear on the determination have been received."  Significantly, the policy only applies to product tested by FSIS - the policy does not apply to product subject to company testing programs.

"Consistent with our requests in 2008 and 2009, AMI has long advocated the practice of controlling tested product and not using it before test results are received,” said American Meat Institute President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.  “Preventing potentially adulterated meat and poultry products from reaching consumers provides additional public health protection."

The policy becomes effective on March 8, 2013. 

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