Interactive Knowledge Exchange
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 to our podcast on FSIS’ Interactive Knowledge Exchange or IKE. I’m
Faye Smith and with me is Mary Porretta from FSIS.
Mary has been with FSIS for more than 12 years. She is a program analyst in the Office
of Policy, Program, and Employee Development. Her duties involve the analysis and the
development of Agency regulations and other policy documents including FSIS Notices
Today we’ll discuss how you can use IKEs as a learning tool.
First, Mary, would you give us a little background on IKEs?
Sure. IKEs are fictional scenarios about inspection-related subjects. They were
implemented as part of the Agency’s continuing effort to enhance and improve the
scientific basis of our inspection activities.
IKEs are developed to help employees keep current on regulatory requirements,
directives, notices, HACCP, SOPs, and sampling programs.
Although IKEs are a learning tool written for FSIS inspectors, they’re also useful to
plant owners and operators.
How does an IKE work?
Each IKE deals with a specific topic. Let’s use IKE Scenario 03-08 as an example. This
particular one is about conducting weekly meetings to verify changes in plant
processes that may affect the HACCP plan.
The scenario highlights the situation of a Consumer Safety Inspector, the Inspector in
Charge – or as we say IIC – assigned to a processing facility that produces raw ground
and ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.
The plant management informs the IIC at the weekly meeting that it has new microwave
equipment and that it is changing its tempering process.
The scenario then describes discussion points and suggests several questions to ask
the plant personnel.
So, in essence, these hypothetical scenarios can really generate some interesting
points so both plants and inspectors can have productive weekly meetings in the real
Exactly. Basically, each IKE presents a scenario or situation about a specific issue,
then proposes various points of discussion and gives a resolution. In addition, the
IKE scenario result may be just one approach to address an issue. It’s not intended to
be a definitive answer, because there may be multiple approaches.
What can inspection program personnel or plant operators do if they have a question
about the resolution?
If questions about any of the scenarios or answers given on the IKE are not answered
through discussion, they can be submitted to the IKE e-mail box, which is
The questions are evaluated, researched and answered by FSIS specialists.
Thank you, Mary, for speaking with us about IKEs. If you, in our audience, would like
to read the IKEs, visit our Web site at
www.fsis.usda.gov . Type “IKE” in the search box on the home page to access these
Thanks for tuning in today! And be sure to join us for other topics.
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 email@example.com. To learn more about food
safety, try our web site at
Thanks for tuning in.