|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
Pathogen Reduction/HACCP & HACCP Implementation
In a sixth letter, sent in late December to very small establishment owners/operators, FSIS Administrator Thomas J. Billy congratulated those very small establishments that have completed their HACCP plans and are working with in-plant inspection personnel on the awareness process and practicing their plans. This applies to the vast majority of very small plants who must meet the new regulatory requirements of the Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) final rule on January 25, 2000. Mr. Billy also reminded very small plant owners who slaughter livestock or birds or produce ground product, that FSIS personnel will begin sampling product to determine compliance with the Salmonella performance standards set forth in regulation 9 CFR 310.25(b) and 381.94(b)(1)(2).
Attached to the letter was a copy of a Basic Compliance Checklist for HACCP which in-plant inspection personnel will begin using on January 25 to determine if a plant's HACCP plan meets the basic requirements of the regulation. Very small plant owners/operators were encouraged to use this tool to make sure that all required features of the HACCP plan are present for each of the processes performed in their particular establishment.
The FSIS District Managers continue to be very proactive in their efforts to assist very small plants in their districts in preparing for the January 25, 2000, HACCP implementation date. The one-on-one approach used by the District Managers and field inspection personnel with very small plant owners over the past year has been an effective way to provide guidance and technical assistance to very small plants. The Agency has identified very small plants in several districts that still need special guidance, and meetings have been scheduled in early January to meet with plant owners to assure that they have the tools necessary to prepare their HACCP plan according to regulatory requirements. FSIS remains committed to having every single very small plant succeed in meeting the regulatory requirements in a timely manner.
The staff of technical experts on the FSIS Technical Service Center's HACCP Hotline is available from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., CST, to address HACCP technical and implementation questions and concerns. The Hotline number is 1-800-233-3935. A listing of after-hours emergency contact numbers for the 17 FSIS District Offices and for Headquarters is available on the FSIS Web site: www.fsis.usda.gov, access "Contact Us!"
The Labeling and Additives Policy Division (LAPD) of FSIS has implemented revised labeling evaluation procedures for the prior label approval program. These procedures were implemented on September 29, 1999, and ended face-to-face appointments with expediter firms for label approvals. The procedures are now based on a first-come, first-served basis, allowing equity for anyone submitting labels for approval.
In an effort to assure that small businesses, i.e., small and very small meat and poultry processors, are not at a disadvantage with the implementation of these new procedures, LAPD has developed several ways to assure the accurate and expeditious evaluation of labels for small processors with minimal time delay. These efforts include: designating a member of the staff, Rosalyn Murphy, to be the liaison for facilitating labeling issue resolution for small businesses; assuring ample access to labeling staff and providing information through a Web site that is under development. Small processors will be allowed to fax submissions of labels for evaluations. They will also be able to have labels evaluated the same day they are submitted in a documented emergency situation. Procedures have been initiated whereby small businesses who get back labels evaluated by the label evaluation staff, and who have questions about the labels, can arrange a consultative phone appointment with the labeling staff member who performed the label review. All small and very small meat and poultry producers and processors are encouraged to use the generic label approval system, as well as to contact the Division directly for labeling support. For further information contact the FSIS LAPD at (202) 205-0279.
For More Information:
|Technical Inquiries:||Office of the National HACCP Small Plant
Small Plant Demonstration Project Office (Technical
HACCP HotlineTechnical Service Center
|Media Inquiries:||(202) 720-9113|
|Congressional Inquiries:||(202) 720-3897|
|Constituent Inquiries:||(202) 720-8594|
|Consumer Inquiries:||Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555; In the Washington, DC, area, call (202) 720-3333; TTY: 1-800-256-7072.|
|FSIS Web site:||www.fsis.usda.gov (under HACCP Implementation)|
|HACCP Materials Database:||FSIS Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov (under HACCP Implementation)|
For Further Information Contact:
FSIS Constituent Affairs Program
Phone: (202) 720-8594
Fax: (202) 720-5704
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