Office of Policy, Program Development and Evaluation
Meat and Poultry Advisory Committee Staff
National Advisory Committee On Meat and Poultry Inspection
Issue Paper: Subcommittee of Field Workforce Roles and Structures
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is conducting Food Safety System Correlation (FSSC) reviews in its districts. The findings are currently used to facilitate learning through correlation with in-plant personnel and industry representatives in each district, following the FSSC reviews in that district. The feedback to inspection personnel is to enhance and improve the effectiveness and consistent application of inspection activities related to food safety. FSIS is seeking input from the Subcommittee on other ways in which FSIS may use the findings to enhance the effectiveness of its field workforce.
Food Safety Systems Correlation (FSSC) reviews were instituted in FY 2001 and they will have been completed in all districts by the end of FY 2003. The FSSC reviews are performed by FSIS Technical Service Center (TSC) personnel to assess the effectiveness of inspection verification activities and of industry food safety systems. The FSSC activity consists of two parts: in-plant data gathering by the TSC staff officers, and follow-up correlation activities with in-plant inspection personnel and plant officials. The reviews are done of a sampling of plants within the District and the weaknesses identified are discussed informally with the inspection personnel and plant officials. Once plant visits are completed, formal correlation sessions are held throughout the District at which inspection personnel and plant managers from the District can ask questions about the weak areas identified or about other HACCP-related issues. These reviews are not about finding deficiencies at specific plants, but finding areas on which inspection personnel and industry officials need further information and awareness to improve the effectiveness of FSIS verification activities and the quality of industry SSOP and HACCP plans.
The FSSC teams gather information about the range of practices within Districts. FSIS evaluates the information that FSSC teams gather to determine how program personnel are following the inspection methodologies as specified in FSIS Directive 5000.1 and in other relevant directives and notices. FSIS does not use the results to rate the performance of inspection program personnel. FSIS’ goal is to ensure that food safety related inspection program activities are carried out in as consistent a manner as possible throughout the country. The FSSC reviews thus far indicate that the primary shortcomings found relate to HACCP plan design and supporting data and/or documentation. In addition, findings indicate that inspection personnel often do not recognize noncompliance with regulatory requirements relating to the supporting documentation for HACCP plans. Another area of weakness commonly found is that plant personnel are maintaining but not reviewing the records that the establishment maintains to determine the effectiveness of the food safety systems in the plants, and inspection personnel are not reviewing them either to determine if they indicate noncompliance.
FSIS Notice 42-01, dated October 11, 2001, Food Safety Systems
Meat and Poultry Advisory Committee
Send mail to
webmaster with questions or comments
about this web site.