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USDA Publishes Proposed Rule to Modernize Swine Inspection

Monday, February 5, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a proposed rule to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to establish the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS), a voluntary inspection system for market hog slaughter establishments. Market hog slaughter establishments that do not choose to operate under the new swine inspection system may continue to operate under their existing inspection system.

For market hog establishments that opt into NSIS, the proposed rule would increase the number of offline inspection activities that FSIS has determined are more effective in ensuring food safety, but would still provide 100 percent FSIS inspection of hog carcasses.

The proposed rule also would require all swine slaughter establishments to implement measures to prevent contamination throughout the entire production process in their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOPs) or other prerequisite programs.

Additionally, the proposal would require establishment personnel to sort and remove unfit animals before ante-mortem inspection by FSIS and to trim and identify defects on carcasses and parts before post-mortem inspection by FSIS. Moreover, establishments would be authorized to determine their own line speeds based on their ability to maintain process control for preventing fecal contamination and meeting microbial performance measures during the slaughter operation, among other proposed changes. Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted through April 2, 2018.

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