Script: Small Plant News
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.
Host: Hello and welcome! This is Sheila Johnson from USDA’s Food
Safety and Inspection Service. Today we’ll discuss a new FSIS
publication – titled "Small Plant News"
With me today is the editor of Small Plant News, Keith Payne.
Thanks Sheila. It’s a pleasure being here.
So, Keith, let’s start with the basics, what is "Small Plant
Well, Sheila “Small Plant News” is a monthly, four-page, full-color
newsletter, which is targeted to small and very small plant owners
and operators who produce meat, poultry and processed egg products.
And what’s the purpose of this newsletter?
"Small Plant News" supports the agency’s strategic outreach plan
for small and very small plants by providing pertinent, easy-to-read
information to small plant personnel so they can produce safe
food and ultimately ensure the success of their livelihoods.
So, did you and your staff have specific objectives in mind with
Basically, we’d like to provide the folks who own or work in
small plants with timely and useful FSIS news and information
in an understandable format.
Kind of like putting information into "plain language"?
Exactly. We want to be able to assist readers on implementing
the agency rules and regulations into their daily operations
with a language and format we can all understand.
We also want to provide essential tips to plants such as encouraging
best practices, achieving high sanitation standards, producing
essential paperwork compliance and implementing cost-saving measures.
It sounds like this publication will really be helpful to small
Yes. We really hope “Small Plant News” will be a mechanism to
further a two-way dialogue between small plants and the agency.
So, what do you mean a two-way dialog?
In nearly every article of the newsletter, we list appropriate
telephone numbers so our readers can have a point of contact
to follow up on if they have further questions or comments. We
value customer service and want small plant owners and operators
to know they have a means to reach us and share their comments,
concerns and ideas. In turn, this can help the Agency be more
responsive to their needs.
That’s certainly great customer service. So, is this newsletter
mailed out to the plants?
Yes, we mail this out to every establishment under federal and
state inspection as well as our district offices. We also distribute
it to FSIS’ workforce through our internal web site.
You mentioned the web site. So, there’s an electronic version
Yes, not only do we post it to our internal site, but we also
make it available on FSIS’ public site at www.fsis.usda.gov under
the small and very small plants page. Anyone can go to this page
and click on “newsletters and magazines” to sign up for a free
Sounds easy! But, I have to ask why in this electronic
age are you still mailing out a printed newsletter?
Well, Sheila, it’s interesting you brought that up. Yes, it’s
true that lately the communication emphasis has been increasingly
on electronic information through computers and the internet,
but we discovered something recently. Our office mailed out a
simple hard copy Food Safety Resources brochure to all the federal
and state inspected plants on our lists. We wanted to make sure
the brochure reached everyone – especially those establishments
that may not rely heavily on computers. And we received an overwhelming
response to that mailing. So that’s why we decided to make this
newsletter available on the web site and in printed form.
I guess that shows that sometimes paper is indispensable.
You’re right! It proves to us that a hard copy format is still
an essential tool we can utilize to reach our customers effectively.
Before we wrap up, Keith, where do you see “Small Plant News”
Sheila we envision “Small Plant News” standing out as one government
publication that small plant owners and operators will view as
an indispensable resource for their operations. Furthermore,
to realize this vision, we encourage readers to provide us feedback
on what they need to ensure food safety and protect their enterprise.
Readers can contact us at (202) 720-9113 again that number is
(202) 720-9113 or they can send us an email to SmallPlantNews@fsis.usda.gov
Well, great Thank you, Keith, for the information on Small Plant
News and thanks to all of you out there for listening today.
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
Thanks for tuning in.
Last Modified: April 15, 2008