|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
Key Facts: HACCP Final Rule
The Food Safety and Inspection Service has determined that the implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems with pathogen reduction performance standards in meat and poultry plants will substantially reduce the incidence of pathogens that can cause foodborne illness.
FSIS conducted a final Regulatory Impact Analysis on implementation of the new HACCP-based regulatory program for inspected establishments. The regulatory impact analysis concluded that the final rule has potential annual public health benefits of $990 million to $3.7 billion because of reduced foodborne illness costs such as medical care and lost work time.
FSIS is publishing the final Regulatory Impact Analysis along with the final rule.
Over a four-year period, the estimated cost to the meat and poultry industry for developing, implementing and operating the proposed pathogen reduction and HACCP systems is estimated at $305 to $357 million, averaging $76 to $89 million per year, or slightly more than one-tenth of a cent per pound of meat and poultry.
This is significantly lower than the annual estimated cost of implementing the proposed rule, which was about $244.5 million per year, or slightly more than 2/10 of a cent per pound of meat and poultry.
The recurring cost after full implementation of the pathogen reduction and HACCP systems is estimated at $99.6 to $119.8 million per year.
The rule has been developed to minimize the economic impact on small and very small plants. Small plants are those with 500 or fewer employees, the Small Business Administration's size standard for small meat and poultry manufacturing establishments. In addition, FSIS has designated establishments "very small" if they have fewer than 10 employees or annual sales of less than $2.5 million.
Of the 6,200 USDA-inspected slaughter, processing, and combination slaughter and processing plants, over 2,900 (or 48 percent) are considered small plants and another 2,900 are considered very small plants.
The nearly 2,900 state-inspected plants--all assumed to be very small plants--will also be required to implement the pathogen reduction and HACCP requirements.
FSIS is allowing small and very small federal and state plants additional time to meet the new HACCP requirement and the Salmonella performance standard, thus minimizing the economic burden. Small plants have 30 months to implement HACCP systems and meet pathogen reduction performance standards. Very small plants have 42 months. All plants, regardless of size, will implement sanitation standard operating procedures and E. coli testing requirements at the same time, six months after publication of the final rule.
The frequency of mandatory microbial testing by slaughter plants for generic E. coli will be based on production volume. Slaughter establishments with lower production volume will have reduced sampling requirements, thereby reducing the burden on small businesses.
Of the 2,700 federal and state slaughter facilities, over 78 percent (the small and very small plants) will be required to conduct E. coli testing for only a specific period each year as long as they can demonstrate compliance with the established criteria. This will further reduce the burden for smaller slaughter operations.
Plants that now have good processing controls are expected to have relatively few implementation costs to comply with the proposal. Plants with little or no process controls would need to invest more to comply.
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