[Federal Register: July 29, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 145)]

[Proposed Rules]               

[Page 40381-40382]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr29jy98-15]



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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE



Food Safety and Inspection Service



9 CFR Parts 309, 310, 381, and 417



[Docket No. 98-009N]



 

HACCP-Based Meat and Poultry Inspection Concepts: Diseases and 

Conditions Identifiable During Post-Mortem Inspection



AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.



ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.



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[[Page 40382]]



SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is making 

available for comment a paper that lists two categories of livestock 

and poultry diseases and conditions observed at post-mortem inspection. 

One category is comprised of diseases and conditions that the Agency 

believes pose food safety risks or hazards. The other category is 

comprised of diseases and conditions that present other consumer 

protection issues. FSIS has developed the list as part of its HACCP-

Based Inspection Models Project.



DATES: To receive full consideration, comments should be received by 

September 28, 1998.



ADDRESSES: The document ``HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project: 

Diseases and Conditions Observable in Meat and Poultry'' may be viewed 

at the FSIS Docket Room, Room 102 Cotton Annex Building, 300 12th 

Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700. An electronic version of the 

document is available on-line at FSIS's homepage at http://

www.fsis.usda.gov. Written comments on the document may be sent in 

triplicate to FSIS Docket Clerk, DOCKET #98-009N, Room 102 Cotton Annex 

Building, 300 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia F. Stolfa, Assistant Deputy 

Administrator, Office of Policy, Program Development and Evaluation, 

Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 

Washington, DC 20250-3700; (202) 205-0699.



SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:



Background



    FSIS is carrying out a project to develop and test new methods for 

the inspection during slaughter of certain market classes of animals 

and their meat and poultry products produced under the Agency's 

``Pathogen Reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point 

Systems'' (PR/HACCP) final rule (61 FR 38806; July 25, 1996). This 

project is designed to develop, in plants, these approaches to 

slaughtering inspection of young, healthy and uniform animals and birds 

that are consistent with the HACCP/PR regulation, and to explore the 

possibility of redeployment of some inspection resources from these 

plants in ways that will enhance food safety protection all along the 

farm-to-table continuum. It will also help define the respective 

responsibilities of FSIS and the regulated industry in slaughter and 

processing establishments, and in distribution channels outside of 

inspected establishments.

    In a June 10, 1997, Federal Register notice, ``HACCP-Based Meat and 

Poultry Inspection Concepts,'' FSIS requested public comment on the 

design and development of new inspection models for slaughter and 

processing in a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) 

environment (62 FR 31553). This notice summarized the National Academy 

of Sciences and General Accounting Office's recommendations that FSIS 

reduce its reliance on organoleptic (sensory) inspection and redeploy 

its resources to utilize regulatory approaches that are based on risks. 

To accomplish these objectives, new inspection models or methods must 

be developed, and these must be consistent with the meat and poultry 

inspection laws as well as systems put in place by the PR/HACCP final 

rule.

    A June 24-25, 1997, public meeting, which the notice announced, 

provided a forum for dialogue between FSIS and all parties interested 

in the project. This project has also been discussed at the September 

9-11, 1997, January 13-14, 1998, and May 12-14, 1998, meetings of the 

National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection. It will 

also be discussed at FSIS' July 27 public meeting on its HACCP-based 

Inspection Models Project for Slaughtering establishments.



Diseases and Conditions that Pose Food Safety Risks vs. Ones That 

Pose Other Consumer Protection Issues



    As part of the development of new inspection models or methods that 

are consistent with the meat and poultry inspection laws and with 

systems put in place by the PR/HACCP final rule, animal diseases and 

conditions observable at post-mortem inspection that pose food-safety 

hazards or risks need to be distinguished from diseases and conditions 

that present other consumer protection issues. In the past, the Agency 

has not made this distinction because, under the traditional approach 

to inspection, resources are not assigned according to public-health 

risk.

    HACCP, however, focuses on hazards. The diseases and conditions 

listed in the paper are examples of potential hazards that, in the 

future, establishments might consider when conducting their hazard 

analyses and in developing their HACCP plans or, with respect to the 

non-food-safety-related conditions, in developing slaughter process 

control programs.

    The first category of diseases and conditions listed in the paper 

is comprised of diseases and conditions that pose food-safety hazards 

or risks (within the meaning of 9 CFR 417.1 and 417.2(a)); the second 

is comprised of animal diseases and conditions that pose other consumer 

protection issues. Meat and poultry products affected by diseases and 

conditions in either category are to be removed from the human food 

supply in the interests of consumers, because diseases and conditions 

in either category would adulterate the food.

    Because FSIS has not previously delineated these categories, and 

because establishments are not now expected to have categorized 

diseases and conditions in this manner, FSIS determined that it would 

be useful to have a broad base of comments on the list. The list was 

developed by Agency experts based, in part, on informal consultations 

with their colleagues outside the Agency and the Government.

    In the course of the HACCP-Based Inspection Models project, the 

volunteer establishments will decide how best to remove adulterated 

carcasses and parts from the food supply, and FSIS will decide how best 

to verify that only safe, wholesome products are entering commerce. 

These decisions will depend, in part, on knowing which diseases and 

conditions affect food safety (controlled by HACCP systems) and which 

are aesthetic conditions (but are subject to slaughter process 

controls). The paper, ``HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project: Diseases 

and Conditions to be Removed from Meat and Poultry'' is intended to 

inform project participants and the public of the Agency's views on 

this subject. The paper is available for review at the location 

indicated above in ADDRESSES.



    Done at Washington, DC, on: July 22, 1998.

Thomas J. Billy,

Administrator.

[FR Doc. 98-20172 Filed 7-28-98; 8:45 am]

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