[Federal Register: November 2, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 213)]
[Notices]               
[Page 65828-65829]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr02no00-42]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 00-042N]

 
HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP): Performance 
Standards for Young Turkey, Young Chicken, and Market Hog HIMP Plants

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is publishing 
the performance standards for food safety and non-food safety 
conditions that it will apply in a limited number of young turkey and 
market hog slaughter plants that participate in the HACCP-based 
Inspection Models Project (HIMP). FSIS has already announced the 
performance standards for young chicken HIMP plants at public meetings, 
but the Agency is including them in this Notice.

DATES: There is no formal comment period for this Notice; however, 
comments are welcome.

ADDRESSES: Submit one original and two copies of written comments to 
FSIS Docket Clerk, Docket #00-042N, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 102 Cotton Annex Building, 300 
12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700. All comments submitted in 
response to this Notice will be available for public inspection in the 
Docket Clerk's Office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Michael Grasso, Project Manager, 
FSIS, at 202 205-0025, FAX 202 205-0058, e-mail Mike.Grasso@usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FSIS began HIMP in 1998 to determine whether 
new government slaughter inspection procedures, along with new plant 
responsibilities, can improve food safety and increase consumer 
protection. The pilot project is a natural extension of the Agency's 
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach in place 
nationwide within all meat and poultry plants. The Agency adopted the 
HACCP approach in its Pathogen Reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical 
Control Point (HACCP) Systems; Final Rule of July 25, 1996 (61 FR 
38806).
    The project represents the Agency's effort to apply HACCP 
principles with respect to industry and FSIS roles and responsibilities 
in slaughter operations, which should allow FSIS to better focus its 
in-plant resources and regulatory verification activities on public 
health concerns. HIMP does not involve processing plants.
    Under HIMP, FSIS has developed new inspection models for pilot 
testing in a limited number of plants slaughtering young, healthy, and 
uniform animals, specifically young poultry, fed cattle, and market 
hogs. With these models, FSIS designs HACCP-based slaughter inspection 
procedures, and plants develop appropriate controls for meeting FSIS 
requirements.
    Through an independent contractor, the Agency conducted baseline 
sampling in volunteer plants that slaughter young chickens, young 
turkeys, and market hogs. The baseline sampling results reflect the 
accomplishments of current slaughter-line inspection procedures in the 
pilot plants and provide a measure--a ``performance standard''--for 
judging the accomplishments of these same plants operating under new 
HIMP procedures. The performance standards address both food safety and 
non-food safety conditions. The food safety performance standards for 
young turkeys and market hogs are set at zero to protect consumers from 
conditions that may be harmful. As stated above, the performance 
standards for non-food safety conditions--collectively termed ``other 
consumer protection'' or OCP--reflect the baseline data collected by 
the independent contractor in participating plants before the new 
models were instituted. These baseline data thus represent the 
accomplishments of the current inspection system.
    For OCP concerns, 2000 samples were collected by the independent 
contractor at each of five young turkey and five market hog plants over 
five weeks and evaluated organoleptically--by the senses. As with young 
chickens, the new OCP performance standards have been set at the level 
that the top 75

[[Page 65829]]

percent of the plants and our inspectors achieved for each category of 
defects. For young turkeys and market hogs, with five plants each, the 
75th percentile was set slightly below the 4th of the five baseline 
results, using the formula: 75th percentile = (.25 * 3rd place values) 
+ (.75 * 4th place values).
    Participating plants must meet these tighter performance standards 
for food safety and non-food safety concerns. Plants are expected to 
revise their HACCP systems to achieve the food safety standards and to 
develop process control plans to achieve OCP standards. Plants are 
responsible for identifying and removing carcasses that do not meet 
these standards for reprocessing or condemnation, as appropriate. FSIS 
inspectors are responsible for inspection and for verifying that plants 
are continuously achieving the required outcomes.
    Microbial sampling was also conducted by the independent 
contractor: 600 carcasses were sampled at each plant, 300 for 
Salmonella and 300 for generic E. coli. Levels of these organisms are 
evaluated according to the performance standards and criteria set forth 
in the Agency's Pathogen Reduction/HACCP Final Rule mentioned above.
    FSIS conducts continuous inspection in HIMP plants to make a 
critical appraisal of carcasses to determine that they are not 
adulterated as defined under FSIS regulations and are thus eligible to 
receive the mark of inspection.

   Young Turkey HIMP Performance Standards Based on Current Inspection
                                 System
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Food Safety 1 Condition--Infectious (e.g.,   Zero*
 septicemia, toxemia).
Food Safety 2 Contamination--Digestive       Zero**
 Content (fecal material).
OCP 1 Condition--Animal Diseases (e.g.,      1.2%
 airsacculitis, arthritis, ascites,
 cadaver, enteritis, erysipelas,
 generalized inflammatory process,
 neoplasms, nephritis, osteomyelitis,
 pericarditis, pneumonia, tenosynovitis).
OCP 2 Condition--Miscellaneous (e.g.,        56.6%
 breast blister, bruises, external
 mutilation, fractures, overscald, sores,
 scabs, and localized inflammatory process).
OCP 3 Contamination--Digestive Content       12.7%
 (e.g., ingesta).
OCP 4 Dressing Defects--Other (e.g.,         95.9%
 extraneous material-other, feathers, lung,
 oil gland, trachea, bile).
OCP 5 Dressing Defects--Digestive Tract      7.5%
 Tissue (e.g., bursa of fabricius, cloaca,
 crop, esophagus, intestine).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Baseline result was 0.0% at 75th percentile.
** Baseline result was 0.3% at 75th percentile.


   Market Hogs HIMP Performance Standards Based on Current Inspection
                                 System
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Food Safety 1 Condition-Infectious (e.g.,    Zero *
 septicemia/toxemia, pyemia, Cysticercus).
Food Safety 2 Contamination-Digestive        Zero **
 Content (e.g., fecal material, ingesta,
 milk).
Food Safety 3 Ante-mortem suspect (e.g.,     Zero
 neurologic conditions, moribund, pyrexic,
 severe lameness).
OCP 1 Carcass-Pathology (e.g., arthritis,    4.1%
 emaciation, erysipelas, localized abscess,
 mastitis, metritis, mycobacteriosis [M.
 Avium], neoplasms, pericarditis,
 pleuritis, pneumonia, uremia).
OCP 2 Condition-Visceral Pathology * (e.g.,  7.2%
 cystic kidneys, enteritis/gastritis, fecal
 contamination of viscera, nephritis/
 pyelonephritis, parasites-other than
 Cysticercus, peritonitis).
OCP 3 Miscellaneous (e.g., anemia/Pale Soft  20.5%
 Exudative pork, bile, bruise, edema,
 external mutilation, fractures, icterus,
 odor, skin lesions, scabs, untrimmed hair,
 toenails not removed).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Baseline result was 0.0% at 75th percentile.
** Baseline result was 2.6% at 75th percentile.


  Young Chicken HIMP Performance Standards Based on Current Inspection
                                 System
------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Food Safety 1 Condition-Infectious (e.g.,    Zero *
 septicemia, toxemia).
Food Safety 2 Contamination-Digestive        Zero **
 Content (e.g., fecal material).
OCP 1 Condition-Animal Diseases (e.g.,       1.7%
 airsacculitis).
OCP 2 Condition-Miscellaneous (e.g.,         52.5%
 bruises, sores, and other processing
 defects).
OCP 3 Contamination-Digestive Content        18.6%
 (e.g., ingesta).
OCP 4 Dressing Defects-Other (e.g.,          80.0%
 feathers).
OCP 5 Dressing Defects (e.g., digestive      20.8%
 tract tissue).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Baseline result was 0.1% at 75th percentile.
** Baseline result was 1.5% at 75th percentile.

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, in an effort to better ensure 
that minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are aware of this 
notice, FSIS will announce it and provide copies of this Federal 
Register publication in the FSIS Constituent Update. FSIS provides a 
weekly FSIS Constituent Update, which is communicated via fax to more 
than 300 organizations and individuals. In addition, the update is 
available on-line through the FSIS web page located at http://
www.fsis.usda.gov. The update is used to provide information regarding 
FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS 
public meetings, recalls, and any other types of information that could 
affect or would be of interest to Agency constituents or stakeholders. 
The constituent fax list consists of industry, trade, and farm groups, 
consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, scientific 
professionals, and other individuals who have requested to be included. 
Through these various channels, FSIS is able to provide information to 
a much broader, more diverse audience.
    For more information and to be added to the constituent fax list, 
fax your request to the Congressional and Public Affairs Office, at 202 
720-5704.

    Done in Washington, DC, on October 25, 2000.
Thomas J. Billy,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 00-28147 Filed 11-1-00; 8:45 am]
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