|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
Pathogen Reduction/HACCP & HACCP Implementation
Compliance for small plants who came under HACCP in January 1999 has been good for the first quarter. By mid-April, out of over 2,300 small plants required to have HACCP systems in place by January 25, 1999, 22 small plants have received notices of suspension for failure to comply with the regulations. For plants willing to address the problems, the suspensions are held in abeyance for up to ninety (90) calendar days from the date of the letter notifying the plant of the suspension. The notice of abeyance delineates the specific conditions of the abeyance and a timeframe for compliance. All 22 plants have received letters of suspensions held in abeyance. Failure of the establishment to meet the conditions of the abeyance by the end of the abeyance period may result in FSIS immediately affecting the suspension of inspection at that plant. In addition, eight plants voluntarily withdrew from Federal inspection within the quarter.
FSIS field inspectors and supervisors continue to work with the 22 plants that initially experienced some difficulties, allowing them to make adjustments to their HACCP plans so that they do comply with the regulations. The Technical Service Centers HACCP Hotline continues to provide information to both industry and FSIS personnel.
In addition, the 18 FSIS District Managers are providing technical guidance to very small plants within their districts and are working closely with circuit supervisors in defining their role in assisting very small plants to prepare for the January 25, 2000 HACCP implementation date.
Five land grant universities with meat and poultry plants that are under USDA inspection have been recently notified by FSIS that they have been awarded grants to serve as small model plants for very small plants. The five land grant universities are: Southern University and A & M in Baton Rouge, LA; Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg, PA; Iowa State University in Ames, IA; The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH; and the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture in Knoxville, TN. These plants are to have their HACCP plans developed and ready to implement within 30 days of receiving the grant. The goal, by June, is to have their operations available at specific times to very small plants desiring to see a HACCP system in operation. Seeing a HACCP system in operation can help facilitate the transition for very small plants in meeting the regulatory requirements of HACCP.
This program differs from the sponsor program that involved nine large plants. The land grant university program affords an opportunity for very small plants to see a HACCP plan in action in a very small plant setting and to discuss the development and implementation of the HACCP system as it relates to their plants. Very small plant owners and managers will be able to receive one-on-one guidance and answers to their questions.
FSIS is still encouraging large and small plants to serve as mentors or sponsors to very small plants. Very small plant owners and managers who are interested in this program may contact the FSIS National HACCP Small and Very Small Plant HACCP Coordinator, Mary Cutshall, at (202) 205-0619.
As with small plants, the 18 FSIS district Mangers continue to be proactive in their efforts to assist very small plants in their districts in preparing for the January 25, 2000 HACCP implementation date. They are aware that it will take the efforts of all FSIS personnel to ensure that very small plants make a successful transition to HACCP. In lieu of workshops, the Agency has determined that a one-on-one approach will work best with very small plants. Circuit supervisors will be contacting very small plant owners and operators within their areas to provide guidance and assistance to help the plant owners during the development of their HACCP plan. In a March 16 letter from FSIS Administrator Thomas J. Billy, a list of suggested dates for completing key milestones leading to a HACCP plan was provided. Circuit supervisors will help very small plant owners work along this timeline and also direct them to appropriate HACCP resources. District Managers will be working with the circuit supervisors in providing this guidance to very small plants.
MARCH-MAY 1999--Key Milestone 1obtain HACCP training for yourself and/or your employees or attend a model plant. Only one individual requires HACCP training to develop you plan, but all can benefit from attending a model plant demonstration or viewing available videos. An individual that is HACCP trained but not an employee of your establishment can also help develop your HACCP plan.
This is the first of six key milestones with a suggested timeframe for completion by very small plants. This list was attached to a letter from FSIS Administrator Thomas J. Billy in March. Also included with the letter was a list of available HACCP resources and how to obtain the information and other assistance needed to affect a smooth transition to HACCP by very small plants.
For More Information:
|Technical Inquiries:||Office of the
National HACCP Small Plant Coordinator
Small Plant Demonstration
Project Office (Technical Assistance Workshops)
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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