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.
Hello and welcome! I’m Sheila Johnson with FSIS. Today, we’re starting a three-part
series on the process establishments use to apply for a Federal Grant of Inspection.
Joining me in the studio is Joan Collins, a program manager in the Office of Field
Operations. She assists senior program officials in providing guidance and direction
to FSIS District Offices throughout the country, ensuring that meat, poultry, and egg
products are produced in accordance with the statutes and the Agency's food safety
Joan has been with FSIS for more than 20 years and has a great deal of experience
training front line supervisors on the statutes, Rules of Practice and administrative
Thank you for being with us, Joan.
Thank you, Sheila. I’m delighted to be here.
What’s the first thing someone should do to get the ball rolling?
Well, first you need to contact an FSIS district office that runs inspections in your
state. This district office is part of the Agency’s Office of Field Operations.
You can find the appropriate district office to contact by visiting the FSIS Web site
at www.fsis.usda.gov and typing “District Offices” into the search function. You’ll
come up with the link to the map of the 15 districts and the telephone numbers to
Or you can call the Policy Development Division in Omaha at (800) 233-3935 and they
can put you in touch with the appropriate District Office.
And once you’ve contacted the appropriate district office, what do you ask for?
You simply tell them you’re interested in obtaining a Federal Grant of Inspection and
they’ll send you an information packet with the appropriate materials, such as the
FSIS Form 5200.2, Application for Federal Meat, Poultry or Import Inspection, to get
Once you receive the application, is there anything that you need to pay particular
close attention to?
I recommend that you read through the materials first to see if you have any
questions. If you don’t have any questions, simply complete all the sections in the
packet. If you have any questions or need assistance, contact the district office.
In addition to completing the application, pay particular attention to item 10(b),
“Attach a Description of the Physical Limits of the Plant Premises that is to be under
Federal Inspection.” This can be a written description or a drawing. If you are
submitting a drawing, place a North compass heading on it.
If you only identify certain areas or rooms in a building for FSIS inspection as
opposed to the whole building, FSIS will do an environmental sanitation inspection if:
- there is any doorway connection between the areas or rooms you want inspected and
the un-inspected areas; and
- we have reason to believe that unsanitary conditions exist that allow rodents,
vermin and insects, contaminated air, and so forth between the sections.
Later in the process, we’ll enter those areas to verify the conditions of the
environment in order to ensure that public health is not being compromised in the
OK, and then what?
Simply, mail the application back to the district office. After an application for
inspection has been filed, an official establishment number will be reserved upon
request of the applicant.
In addition, you’ll receive the name and contact information for the Frontline
Supervisor covering the geographical area in which your establishment is located. The
Frontline Supervisor will be available to answer any questions you might have during
What’s the next step?
Now you need to make sure your facility and equipment meet FSIS regulatory performance
standards. These are covered under Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 301 through 592.
Plants that receive a grant of inspection from FSIS must conduct their operations
under the provision of Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 416 (9 CFR
416). This includes 9 CFR 416.2 Plant grounds and facilities and 9 CFR 416.3 Equipment
This is part of the regulations that are known as the Sanitation Performance
Standards. Sanitation is the foundation for food safety.
I see it’s very important to know these provisions inside and out. What’s the best way
to do that?
Well, one way is access these parts of the Code of Federal Regulations through the
search engine of the FSIS Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov.
These parts are also included in the application package you receive from the district
So, I would suggest going through the materials you receive and take a yellow
highlighter and review these parts very closely.
Sounds like a good idea. Just briefly, what do these parts cover?
9 CFR 416.2 contains the regulations for a plant’s grounds and facilities. They also
include provisions for
- Grounds and pest control
- Sewage Disposal
- Water supply and water, ice, and solution reuse
- Dressing rooms, lavatories, and toilets
Quite a list there.
Yes, and then 9 CFR 416.3 contains the systems concerning plants equipment and
utensils. Utensils must be made out of material and constructed so they can be
thoroughly cleaned, and they must be maintained in a sanitary condition.
Also, utensils cannot be made and constructed, located or operated in a manner that
prevents FSIS inspectors from determining if they are in a sanitary condition. An
establishment will not be able to get a grant of inspection if these basic sanitation
standards are not met.
That’s certainly helpful to know.
I recommend plants keep an open line of communication with the FSIS Frontline
Supervisor , and also feel free to call upon the Policy Development Division in Omaha
at (800) 233-3935 if you have any questions about 9 CFR 416.2 and 416.3.
Sounds like there’s plenty of assistance from FSIS that you can get right away in
getting this whole process started. Well, I believe we’ve run out of time for now.
Thank you, Joan, for being here today.
You’re quite welcome.
Please join us for our next podcast where we’ll continue our discussion on the process
of obtaining a Federal Grant of Inspection.
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
www.fsis.usda.gov. Thanks for tuning