F.S.I.S. seeks comments on enhancing food safety

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments until May 24 on proposed measures to enhance food safety.

“One year ago the president called on government to do more to ensure our food is safe, and we are working aggressively every day to improve the food safety system in the United States,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “The steps we are announcing today will help prevent foodborne illness as well as speed our response when illnesses occur — two goals of the Food Safety Working Group.”

The F.S.I.S. said the new proposed rule would require regulated establishments adhere to three things: 1) Promptly notify F.S.I.S. if any unsafe, unwholesome or misbranded meat or poultry product has entered commerce; 2) Prepare and maintain current procedures for the recall of meat and poultry products produced and shipped by the establishment; and 3) Document each reassessment of the establishment’s process control plans or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans.

Comments regarding the adopted regulations must be received by May 24 through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov, or by mail to: Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 2-2127, George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Mailstop 5474, Beltsville, MD 20705-5474. All submissions received through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by mail must reference the Food Safety and Inspection Service and include the docket number “FSIS-2008-0025.”

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