USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) should be commended for the development of the New Technology Office. This new office will help facilitate the rapid deployment of food safety technologies in meat and poultry plants and reflects a commitment to science and technology at the highest levels of USDA.
The meat and poultry industry has invested millions of dollars in research into new technologies. The impact of those technologies, now in wide use throughout the industry, is reflected in the sustained declines in bacteria on raw meat and poultry and in the declines in foodborne illness associated with meat and poultry. Focusing on assisting smaller companies in implementing new technologies also is a promising development that will yield real rewards.
In 2001, the American Meat Institute voted to make food safety a non-competitive issue and the Institute’s members began sharing information about technologies that could enhance food safety throughout the industry. The New Technology Office now will help forge a positive, collaborative relationship between industry and government that can translate into real results. The fact is, we all share the same goal: utilizing the best available technologies to produce the safest possible meat and poultry supply for the American consumer.