National Advisory Committee on
Meat and Poultry Inspection Meeting
June 5, 2002
Standing Sub-Committee Number 1
Issue: FSIS Workforce Roles and Structure
FSIS Review Goals:
Enhance establishment food safety programs
Increase inspection verification effectiveness of FSIS personnel
-Disseminate information to industry representatives who
miss the review meetings
-Better advertise district review meetings
-Compare districts – share information from all districts in the
-Improve the confidence individuals have in the information disseminated
-Clarify FSIS structure and chain of information transfer
-Develop a computerized system that delivers scenarios (IKE)
-Better inform the plants not connected to trade associations
-Provide consistent information to inspectors and industry
-Clear up misunderstanding between scientific documentation and
-Distribute generic summary of reviews
-Create a listserve or a newsletter to answer inspector questions and
share information in the field
-Find out why information isn’t known when deficiencies are found during
-Improve management problems and develop better accountability
-Avoid “cookie cutter” approach
-FSIS as a guest commentator in trade association newsletters and other
What ideas does the Committee have on how we can further disseminate our
common FSSC findings to our field force, industry, the States, and other
stakeholders so we can work toward ways to address common problems?
HACCP is intended to be a continuously changing and improvement
process. The committee feels there is valuable information to be shared
through multiple vehicles and forums. The FSSC team meetings with
industry following their finds do not reach everyone that could use
them. The message should be consistently shared.
A few methods to consider are:
-Email weekly information to IIC scenerios to share with plant
-Small Plant HACCP Network
-IKE (Interactive Knowledge Exchange)
We must be careful to have messages consistently communicated.
Emphasize that cookie cutter plans are NOT what we are after. Both
industry and the agency need a clear idea of how much and what kind of
supporting documentation is needed.
What suggestions does the Committee have for additional
ways we can utilize the findings of the FSSC’s to enhance the
effectiveness of the field workforce?
The agency could add a component to the FSSC review
process to determine why the deficiencies exist. If the problem is that
the plant and FSIS field personnel do not have enough information, this
component should help determine why the information is not getting
through, and how to correct the problem. If the agency discovers that
the problem is a lack of information, it should ask in what form the
information should be delivered.
The agency may discover other problems such as poor management or
problems with the enforcement system.
What does the Committee believe the findings of the
FSSC’s may tell us about the makeup of our field workforce?
If their studies suggest that there us a HACCP problem
-is there a gap in skills?
-hence you need individuals with the skills to address these issues
-you recommend the plants hire more individuals with stronger
backgrounds – certificates or degrees
-Same could apply at the FSIS level
-For low level inspectors with a high school diploma recommend further
education – certificates or diplomas at recognized institutions or
jointly trained through FSIS giving them the broader picture
-For CSOs and higher recommend they hire more individuals with degrees
from fully recognized institutions
It will result in a better qualified and quality group of professionals
ready to face the challenges of the future in food safety.