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HIMP’s Strength is Food Safety: GAO Report

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that covers the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposal to modernize inspection.  The audit was conducted to review the three HACCP-Based Inspection Model Project (HIMP) pilots which form, at least in part, the support for the proposed rule to modernize inspection.

As well as outlining some concerns, the GAO identified several strengths to the proposal, including plants being given responsibility and flexibility to ensure food safety and quality, FSIS being able to focus on food safety, and plants creating jobs and increasing production.

“This proposal is about assuring food safety,” said NAMA CEO Barry Carpenter. “Giving plants flexibility and allowing USDA inspectors to focus on food safety activities, has clear and demonstrable benefits.”

GAO did recommend that USDA collect and analyze more data to make sure the pilot projects succeed and also that it clearly disclose its data to the public. USDA concurred, and announced it would present an updated analyses when it issues its final rule and that it will do so in a manner that facilitates public understanding of the information used to support the rulemaking.

The GAO audit report is available at the link below.

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