Welcome to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service podcast. Each episode
will bring you cutting edge news and information about how FSIS is working to ensure public
health protection through food safety. While we’re on the job, you can rest assured that
your meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe, wholesome, properly labeled,
and packaged correctly. So turn up your volume and listen in.
Hello and welcome! I’m Sheila Johnson with FSIS. Today, we’re concluding our series on
on the steps for applying for a Federal Grant of Inspection for meat and poultry
Joining us again is Joan Collins, a program manager in the Office of Field Operations.
She has been with FSIS for more than 20 years and has a great deal of experience
training front line supervisors on the statutes, Rules of Practice and administrative
enforcement. Welcome back, Joan.
Thank you, Sheila.
Let’s do a quick recap on the items that need to be obtained and approved before a
federal inspection grant is issued.
We’ve talked about obtaining and completing an application form from your respective
FSIS district office. Then you need to know how you must meet regulatory performance
standards, covered under Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 301 through
Next, you must obtain an approved label or brand, and obtain approved water sources as
well as obtain an approved sewage system letter, correct?
That sums it up.
What are the last steps?
The sixth step says that before federal inspection is granted, you must provide a
written standard operating procedure for sanitation, or Sanitation SOPs. This written
SOP for sanitation will need to be tailored to your plant.
You don’t have to wait until all other steps in the process of obtaining a grant of
inspection are completed to begin working on this important step.
Good to know. What are the specific regulations in Title 9 Code of Federal Regulations
that address sanitation?
9 CFR 416.11 through 416.17 provide the requirements for Sanitation SOPs. So, review
these closely in the package you would have received from the District Office. Such
regulations that provide the requirements for Sanitation SOPs are:
- General Rules;
- Development of Sanitation SOPs;
- Implementation of SOPs;
- Maintenance of Sanitation;
- Corrective Actions;
- Recordkeeping requirements; and
- Agency verification.
This document outlines all of the steps you will normally perform to ensure that
sanitary operations are maintained in areas of the plant where product comes into
direct contact with equipment, people, or utensils.
And for the seventh and last step to become an FSIS-inspected plant?
The seventh step says that you must provide a written Hazard Analysis and a Hazard
Analysis and Critical Control Point – or HACCP – plan.
Tell us more about that.
Sure. A hazard analysis is used to determine the food safety hazards reasonably likely
to occur in the production process. It also identifies the preventive measures that
the establishment can apply to control those hazards.
Whenever a hazard analysis identifies that one or more food safety hazards are
reasonably likely to occur, you should develop a written HACCP plan.
There is a previous 10-part podcast series on designing a HACCP plan posted on the
FSIS Web site, as well as a series of articles on the same topic published in Small
Plant News, Volume 9, Numbers 6,7,8 and 9, so I won’t go into much depth here since
we’ve covered this extensively before.
That’s good to point out to our listeners. So they can go to either Small Plant News
or the podcasts to get this information. Now, are plants required to develop their own
SSOPs or HACCP plans themselves?
No, you may utilize an outside consultant who is not employed by your plant to conduct
your hazard analysis and develop your SSOPs or HACCP plans. Also, each state is
assigned a HACCP contact and a HACCP coordinator to assist establishments with the
development of HACCP programs.
Are these HACCP contacts and coordinators available as well on the FSIS Web site?
Yes, you can simply type in “HACCP Contacts and Coordinators” within the search
function on www.fsis.usda.gov.
You can also call the Policy Development Division in Omaha at (800) 233-3935 or the
Office of Outreach, Employee Education and Training’s Small Plant Help Desk at (800)
374-7435 to request assistance.
Furthermore, the FSIS Frontline Supervisor who has been assigned to you is a great
Regardless of how you develop your SSOPs or HACCP plan, you must be able to
demonstrate that you are following them on a daily basis in your establishment. So, if
you work with others to develop these plans, it’s very important for you to understand
everything that’s written down.
OK. A plant has completed all the steps in the process. Now what?
Once the plant has everything together and management thinks they are ready to go,
they will need to schedule a final walk-through with the FSIS Frontline Supervisor.
The FLS will conduct the walk-through and submit a form to the District Manager with
their recommendation on whether or not the grant should be approved.
The one thing I want to make clear is that FSIS is committed to protecting public
health and ensuring the food you produce is safe and wholesome.
Excellent! That’s a win-win for everyone!
Well, I believe that wraps up the steps to becoming a federally inspected
Thank you, Joan, for providing a wealth of useful information to those who are
considering becoming a federally-inspected plant.
My pleasure, Sheila. I’m glad to have been able to help out. Again, for any resources
we have covered, you can go to the FSIS Web site, www.fsis.usda.gov, or call the Small
Plant Help Desk at (800) 374-7435.
this series. Thank you for joining us. If you have suggestions for future podcasts,
please email them to
Well, that’s all for this episode. We’d like your feedback on our podcast. Or if you
have ideas for future podcasts, send us an e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about food safety, try our web site at
www.fsis.usda.gov. Thanks for tuning